Parents frustrated with middle school’s inaction following gun incident

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tensions ran high at a safety meeting at Henry Oliver Middle School Thursday evening.

School officials held a meeting in response to an April incident, where an eighth-grade student brought a loaded handgun and marijuana onto campus. Parents said they have been hounding the school about the issue ever since.

“We have been emailing for weeks. We have been getting the runaround,” said parent Christi Mayo. “I feel like they are being condescending to us, not wanting to talk to us, forcing us to talk over them.”

Mayo said she did not feel her questions were adequately answered at Thursday’s meeting at the school. “My student emailed me saying there was a lockdown and a gun in the classroom. We didn’t know anything about it.”

Parents were shouting tonight at school and district leaders over the incident, resulting in several being asked to leave.

Frustrations come from some parents who claim it took half an hour to lock the school down after finding the gun. However, Metro Nashville Public Schools said it happened within minutes of the gun being discovered.

When asked about the timeline, Principal Hamaya Wilson said, "As far as the lockdown happening 30 minutes later, I don’t have the timeline of what time it happened. I do know when I was informed, there was a gun in the building that we went on lockdown immediately.”

Some parents claimed students were left in the unlocked cafeteria during the incident. MNPS said while they don’t have details of who was where during the lockdown, protocols were followed that day.

"Based on the information we have, at no point were students ever in any danger because of this incident," said Sean Braisted.

While some parents express anger over the situation, some told us that they believe it was handled appropriately.

“I felt like they gave the communication that I needed. I was not concerned about the safety of my son here at Oliver Middle School,” said parent Shenetta Matthews.

Parents also told us that they are concerned as 25 teachers have left Oliver Middle School since 2021 and believe it is due to the leadership at the school. MNPS said the departures were all due to people moving on and getting promotions.

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