WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Afternoon dismissals at Mt. Juliet and West Wilson Middle School are causing some major safety concerns.
From students darting across traffic to parents parking in un-authorized areas, the Mt. Juliet Police Department is now stepping in.
Mt Juliet police and school officials released a new traffic map to help address all the concerns, and this week police will be out enforcing the traffic patterns and issuing citations.
“Students are all over the place. It’s a nightmare,” Jenna Brent said.
According to Brent, she’s seen students dart across traffic on Woodridge Place, Charlie Daniels and Mt. Juliet Road.
“And there is no crossing guards in those areas, so students are not being safe and it also impacts traffic flow,” Dr. Deante’ Alexander, West Wilson Middle School Principal said.
On top of that, Dr. Alexander said parents are parking in unauthorized areas to pick up their children. Parents told News 2 this is also a major headache while in the pickup line.
“It’s just not efficient for my kid to ride the bus and get home at 5:45 when he gets out of school at 3:45,” Brent said.
Dr. Alexander said it all boils down to two middle schools on one campus after West Wilson Middle School was destroyed in the 2020 tornado.
“With the collaboration of both schools, you see the influx of traffic flow because we are seeing families of 15-1,600 students on one campus,” Dr. Alexander said.
However, he said it’s no excuse for unsafe school dismissal.
“We’ve had several different law enforcement out here from MJPD and Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, but we are just going to enforce it a little bit more this week to help make things run smoothly for our parents,” Dr. Alexander said.
Parents are also expressing safety concerns down the road at West Elementary School.
Parents told News 2 the road is just as dangerous during the morning and afternoon pickup because the two lane road becomes crammed and the bicycle lane becomes a traffic lane.
“And some of those cars fly. And I have personally been side swiped with my children in the car and my husband witnessed another car getting car swiped behind him,” Abby Flatt said.
“I actually work in the healthcare field and the number one reason for trauma is car accidents nationally, and we have to deal with the issues so we don’t end up with a child or parent seriously injured in a car accident,” Brent added.
Both Brent and Flatt are meeting next week with the county mayor, school officials and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to express concerns.
They plan to meet next Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Cooks United Methodist Church and are welcoming additional parents to come voice their concerns.