NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- So far this year, Metro School Resource Officers have responded to more than 10 incidents inside Metro Schools.
“The edge that these kids are on now, is a lot more than what they were years ago,” said Ricky Griffin, a School Resource Officer at Hillsboro High School.
Officer Griffin has seen it all during his almost 30 years inside the school. Working as an SRO, he told News 2, every day brings a new challenge. A “regular” schedule is not something he is used to. He explained, while he may clock in and out at the same time, what happens during school hours can be unpredictable.
“We’ve had fights at this school, it’s not just this school, it’s every school,” said Officer Griffin. However, it’s when those fights turn into a dangerous situation that keeps SRO’s on their toes.
This week, inside Tulip Grove Elementary, a 10-year old student brought a nine-millimeter pistol into the school. Principal Allyson Johnson sent an email to parents Monday, saying the student was removed from other students after a staff member found the gun.
Officer Griffin explained being a School Resource Officer is more than being a police presence in the hallways. He said building relationships with the students is key, especially because they rely on students to let them know when something may be wrong.
“I mean, I’ve had them run into my office saying, we just saw a kid, we think that he opened the locker and we think there was a gun in the locker,” said Officer Griffin. “I would say hands down that the tips we got came from the students.”
Incidents happening at Metro Schools range from a gun being brought on campus to a student being stabbed while at school.
“As a parent, it makes me horrified, and it makes me feel really bad like we still continue to fail our youth,” said Stacy Campbell.
Campbell had three children who attend a Metro School and says hearing about the constant reports of firearms being found inside school halls is a scary trend.
“Sometimes I do get worried that sometimes they can’t handle something that’s out of their control believe it or not I’ve had to deal with that. We’ve had people come to school and they threaten my children, they threaten me, and my husband, but their children. So when we get to the root of the problem, then we can fix it,” said Campbell.