RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Patty Oeser is the person responsible for the safety of students at schools in Rutherford County.
“Fifty schools is a lot of schools for one person,” she said.
Oeser became the district’s safety director back in January, which has kept her very busy. She said on average they deal with at least two threats a day.
“Social media, in school, it’s just a gambit of things,” Oeser said.
Constant school threats, including three happening just over a week ago, have pushed Oeser to ask for more help.
The school district’s next school board meeting is Thursday, Nov. 3.
On that agenda includes a motion requesting approval for an assistant school safety director position.
“Fifty schools is a lot for one person to dedicate a lot of time to make sure that the administration, the kids, the staff, everybody is being safe,” said Oeser.
Oeser said she’s worked to implement more education around bullying, mental health support, and security software because of what they are seeing in their schools.
“I think the social skills, the bullying, the threats, I mean this is just a very different year than we’ve had in a long time,” she said.
With Middle Tennessee’s population growth pushing more people to Rutherford County, Oeser knows the help will be greatly needed.
However, she’s still optimistic the measures she has in place will work to improve safety at all her schools.
“This school year it’s all about everything that I have been implementing, and I feel really good about that and I feel good about the direction that we’re headed in,” she said.
Rutherford County School Board members will vote on whether they want to add this new position at Thursday’s school board meeting.
Oeser said if the motion is approved, they would look to hire someone and have them ready to start by January 2023.