Schools, parents discuss security concerns after CT shooting - WSMV News 4

Schools, parents discuss security concerns after CT shooting

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In spite of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, it was back to school Monday for thousands of students in Middle Tennessee, and in districts throughout the area, safety was top on the mind for parents and administrators.

Dr. Jesse Register, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, spoke candidly about school security.

Register told the story of a 15-year-old student who last year brought a gun to school. Even though it pales in comparison to what happened in Connecticut, it proves the issue matters deeply here at home.

"We have to look at the social, emotional development of children in our schools," Register said.

Parents like Adriane Gordon were still trying to process what happened states away as they found a way to send their children to school Monday.

"She was sad for the families. But she said, 'Mom, I'm going to be OK. I'm going to be OK.' So we said an extra prayer," Gordon said. "I was a little nervous about dropping her off, so I let her ride the school bus, where there would be adults there."

Register reaffirmed Metro's policies Monday, but he also admitted there could be room for growth and lessons to learn from Newtown.

"I want you to know that I think our schools are safe," he said. "We're doing a lot to promote safety. Is it enough? The answer is no. We've got to ask some hard questions in this community about how we deal with our young people and what our young people are exposed to."

"People are going to be worrying about their children for a long, long time because of what happened there. So if there are ways that we can make our children safer, we ought to be doing it," said Mayor Karl Dean.

All of that seems like a consolation for parents like Gordon, trying to make sense of a tragedy for both herself and her daughter.

"That's one of a mother's most horrible nightmares, to send your child to school and your child doesn't come home from school," Gordon said.

Fortunately, it appears the school shooting in Connecticut did not impact attendance figures in districts across Middle Tennessee.

In Williamson County, school leaders met with police to discuss their security plans, and the police department promised to increase presence near the county's schools.

That issue will also be up for discussion at Monday's board of education meeting.

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