SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Sumner County commissioner made a passionate plea for increased safety at a Sumner County school, revealing portions of the exterior walls are made of plastic.
News 2 is not naming the school or disclosing other identifying information, because the district asked us not to focus on safety concerns at a specific schools.
The issue was brought up during a Sumner County Commission meeting where officials were debating whether to allow the school district to draw $15.8 million from its reserves fund to pay for new stadiums that were condemned and pay for other upgrades to athletic facilities.
“I’m asking y’all, come visit my school. See the security issues I have there,” Commissioner Terry Wright said to the crowd. “You want rubber running tracks? Folks, I’ve got plastic walls at my school.”
In addition, school board member Andy Lacy alluded to safety concerns during a recent public school board meeting.
“I don’t want to tell everyone in the room what I feel like the safety issues are, but I feel like it’s a significant safety issue that affects my people,” Lacy said.
“And we’ve designated $1.95 million between local and state capital to address those needs,” Director of Schools, Dr. Scott Langford, responded.
However, Wright told commissioners the plastic walls are just one example of a bigger issue he calls the neglect some schools face.
“Myself and others are sick and tired of it,” Wright said. “If you had plastic walls in your school, your exterior walls, you would be up here raising the same [concerns] that I’ll be raising right now.”
Sumner County Schools told News 2 in an email the district would not publicly discuss specific plans to address security concerns at specific schools for safety reasons. The district issued News 2 the following statement about the ongoing efforts to improve school security:
“The safety of our students and our school buildings is our number one priority. We have an ongoing process in cooperation with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office to assess security vulnerabilities at specific schools. We then work to address those issues through both immediate short-term solutions while planning long term solutions. We are currently undertaking a number of projects across the district, including installing safety film in every school, additional fencing and improved access control for school buildings. We are also grateful for our partnership with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office which provides a School Resource Officer for every school in Sumner County. These officers work diligently every day to keep our schools safe.“