Students, teachers call for passage of party bus bill following number of learning distractions

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Last Friday, Amanda Smithfield, a librarian at Hume Fogg Academic High School, counted 38 party vehicles pass by the school during school hours.

She, along with other teachers and even students, is calling for the passage of recently introduced legislation to regulate Nashville’s party vehicle scene.

“It makes me angry. It makes my blood boil when kids come to me and say I was in the middle of my AP world test, and, you know, there was this disruption, and I was trying to answer a difficult question and I lost my train of thought,” Smithfield said, adding that students will be taking the ACT next week, and due to the loud party tours, administrators will have to try to find a quiet spot away from Broadway and 8th.

Metro Council Member Freddie O’Connell’s bill comes after growing pressure from Safe Fun Nashville and other community members in light of recent accidents on party vehicles. The coalition’s petition, which calls for state and local legislative action, has amassed over 2,500 signatures.

The student group, “Hume Fogg for Peaceful Learning,” recently launched an Instagram account to share first-hand accounts of the regular disruption party vehicles create to the school day.

“One of my students told me she was flashed by someone on a pedal tavern very recently,” Smithfield said.

She says though she understands tourism is vital to Music City and even the funding that public schools receive, something needs to change and fast. She’s hoping the party vehicle bill will pass and in turn, local leaders are able to regulate where and what time the party tours roll.

“Maybe between 8:00-3:00 they don’t run in front of the school. That makes sense to me,” Smithfield said. “Maybe Sunday morning they don’t go in front of First Baptist Church downtown. That makes sense to me.”

O’Connell’s bill that would help to regulate transportainment in downtown Nashville passed the first of three readings and will head to the second reading in front of Metro Council on October 5 at 6:30 p.m.

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