School safety inspections: Does your child's make the grade? - WKRN News 2

Metro schools safety inspections: Does your child's make the grade?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Each year Metro firefighters are required to inspect area schools for code violations.

Nashville's News 2 did some digging and pulled fire code violations for all of the schools in the Metro-Nashville Public School District over the last few years.

Metro Chief Fire Marshal Danny Hunt said most of the violations are minor but, some are "very serious," such as using an open flame candle inside a school.

Since 2009, four Metro schools have received violations for burning candles, including Eakin Elementary in 2011, as well as Pearl-Cohn High School, Antioch High School and the Nashville School of Arts, all in 2009.

Chief Hunt said he considers "improperly storing flammable materials" such as gasoline and paint thinner, one of the worst violations.

In all, 13 schools have been cited for that particular violation including:

  • White's Creek High School: 2012
  • Cumberland Elementary School: 2011
  • Dupont Hadley Middle School: 2011
  • McGavock High School: 2011
  • Nashville Big Picture High School: 2011
  • Glencliff Elementary School: 2010
  • WA Bass Middle School: 2010
  • West End Middle School: 2010
  • Glencliff High School: 2009
  • JE Moss Elementary School: 2009
  • Martin Luther King Magnet School: 2009
  • Nashville School of Arts: 2009
  • Statford High School: 2009


"It's very serious," Hunt said.

According to Hunt, a fire could easily start when materials such as paint thinner and gasoline are stored in dangerous areas like boiler rooms.

Last summer, two schools, Napier Elementary and Stratford High Schooll were both caught padlocking an exit door.

Chief Hunt said schools do this for extra security overnight and then sometimes forget to take them off.

Both violations occurred in June 2011, but Hunt said they were still cited because employees were inside the building.

"You can trap people in the school," Chief Hunt explained.

The same could happen if your child's classroom does not have an exit window.

In all, 31 schools over the last three years were cited for having a classroom without an approved window or where the window was blocked.

Harold Finch, a district employee who handles fire code safety, said most of the violations occur when new teachers, who aren't familiar with all the codes, block the windows with school supplies or other items.

Nashville's News 2 discovered that Apollo Middle School violated that particular code every year for the last four years.

District spokesperson, Olivia Brown, said Apollo's windows open up to an enclosed courtyard where the exit doors are consistently locked.

Brown said it's a miscommunication problem and ensured Nashville's News 2 that the principal has been notified and that the violation won't happen again.

Chief Hunt said usually violations are quickly fixed and he said for the most part schools do a good job following the fire code.

MNPS Middle College High, AZ Kelley Elementary, Carter Lawrence Elementary and Andrew Jackson Elementary have not had any violations over the last four years.

To see all the violations for Metro Public Schools, click here.

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