NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — During a Metro School Board meeting, one member expressed concern about School Resource Officers (SROs) inside elementary schools. Right now, only middle and high schools are equipped with SROs, but she believes it’s now a matter of life and death, and at any moment, violence could enter schools.

“We don’t have SROs and we don’t have security in our schools,” said Fran Bush, Metro School Board member for the 6th district.

Currently, there are nearly 40 SROs in every middle and high school in the Metro Nashville School District. Now, Board Member Bush is calling for more to be done, specifically within middle schools.

During the last school year, 16 guns were found in different Metro Nashville Schools throughout both semesters.

“We expect for this to continue, that we have to have our teachers, who are supposed to, by the way, be teachers and be educators and make sure they take care of our kids, but they keep having to put their lives on the line because there is no security or no one there to support them,” explained Bush.

During the board meeting, concerns about how specific security measures could affect students and their learning.

“We cannot ignore, some of the research and data out there, about the presence of armed officers in our schools. We are fortunate that we have a really strong relationship with MNPD and they have committed to our MOU and their role in our schools as we move forward it also requires an investment,” explained Dr. Addriane Battle, MNPS Director.

It’s a topic also on the minds of parents like Lillian Maddox-Whitehead, who says it’s not only about protection, but also prevention.

“Sometimes those guns don’t make it into the schools, they’re planted outside of the schools, so just being able to do those daily sweeps looking for where those guns could be concealed on the campus,” said Maddox-Whitehead.

Maddox-Whitehead is a parent to three MNPS students, two of them have graduated. Now, she is terrified to think about what could happen.

“It is horrifying. to think that you drop your child off at school each day and you may not see them at the end of the day. It is heartbreaking,” said Maddox-Whitehead.

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“Let’s not forget what happened in Inglewood Elementary,” said Bush.

Bush pointed to an incident that happened in May, where three Inglewood Elementary School staff members were hailed as heroes after a man tried to force his way onto a Nashville elementary school. 

During the week, Mayor John Copper was asked the question directly, if SROs belong in Elementary schools. He responded, “There have been some concerns I know expressed in the council about the SRO program. I think Uvalde is very persuasive that it’s safety first, security first, you can’t educate in anything less than a secure environment.”

“We have to be in the forefront, we have to make sure that, these people who are trying to harm our children, that we’re thinking ahead of them, and right now we’re not thinking ahead of them,” said Bush.

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Bush hopes to have further conversations about more safety school resources being implemented before the fall semester.