Special meeting called after Metro SROs complain of verbal abuse in alternative schools

Middle TN
W.A. Bass Learning Center_278150

A special meeting was held between city leaders to discuss the school resources officers who are being pulled from Metro’s two alternative schools.

The meeting was called by the newly-formed Metro Council School Safety Committee. 

News 2 first reported that three school resources officers will be moved from Bass Learning Center and Johnson Alternative on Mar. 1.

Metro police said their officers in those schools are being verbally abused and are unable to help the students. During the meeting, they said their mission had failed and that keeping officers there would be punishment. They also described some of the ridicule officers went through in the schools. 

“After six months he started complaining to the supervisor ‘I need to transfer, I can’t take this ridicule every day’. At some point, it progressed to the point he was receiving threats ‘I’m going to find out where you live. I’m going to do stuff to your wife’ This, that, and the other I’m not going into detail because it’s ugly,” said Metro commander David Corman.

Corman said he also was shocked about what he saw in the school. 

“I’m a 25-year veteran and I’ve worked in some of the roughest areas of the city and yesterday I was a little unnerved of the three minutes I was exposed. And unfortunately, MNPS must house these children they have to receive an education,”  

During the meeting, council members tried to convince Metro police to keep the SROs in the schools. District 3 Councilmember Brenda Haywood said it takes the right kind of SRO to be put in the schools. 

“It also takes the right person serving in that capacity. You can’t just go through numbers and say I’m going to put Officer so and so. It has to be the right officer with the right heart and mentality that wants to be there. Because what I’m hearing now is that the officers don’t want to be there,” said Haywood. “The kids pick up on that.” 

There has also been friction over the issue. Johnson Alternative Center Principal Myron Johnson said they weren’t informed in the decision to pull the SROs. 

Three SROs will leave Bass Learning Center and Johnson Alternative Center full-time this Friday. They will remain there through the end of the school year for arrival and dismissal only. Next year, the SROs won’t be there at all. 

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