Williamson Co. Schools institutes mandatory course for new drive - WSMV News 4

Williamson Co. Schools institutes mandatory course for new drivers

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The course is required for new student drivers to receive their parking passes. (WSMV) The course is required for new student drivers to receive their parking passes. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Some new drivers won’t be able to park at Williamson County Schools unless they complete one critical course.

Six teens from Williamson County have died in car crashes in the last school year.

“Anywhere there is a child death while driving, it just rips your heart out,” said Jill Henderson, a parent.

After so many deaths in the last year, Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney made the course mandatory for new drivers. He tweeted last week he wants to see drivers in the classroom and not a casket.

“It is not supposed to be a scare tactic class, but it is something we recognize as being important and worth noting,” said Clark Ramey, an instructor.

Checkpoints is a one-hour course that outlines the biggest risk factors for new drivers. At the end of the class, parents and students draw up a driving contract with rules and privileges.

Instructors say the program pushes an open dialogue that might otherwise be uncomfortable.

“Sometimes the students want to act like, oh mom, oh dad, leave me alone, I’ve got this. And this gives them an opportunity to come up with a type of bond together,” said Paul Fantuzzi, a Checkpoints instructor.

Student drivers who don’t take the program don’t get a parking pass.

Tess Henderson said she is excited to get hers.

“It will be nice to be able to drive myself and not have my parents take me everywhere,” Henderson said.

Williamson County Schools said there are potentially 350 new student drivers who will be attending school this year. So far, 150 of them have taken the course.

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