Mount Juliet police increase presence at middle school pickup

Mount Juliet police and school officials are stepping up presence during afternoon dismissal because children are unsafe and chaotic on foot.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:14 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Mount Juliet Police Department sent extra officers to Mount Juliet Middle School on Monday over increasing safety concerns during school dismissal time.

Mount Juliet Police Capt. Tyler Chandler said child pedestrian traffic is unorganized and unsafe because of drivers bypassing the school’s pickup plan.

“There’s this mass exodus of just children going every which way, every direction, crossing major roads just to get to a parent who’s waiting in a nearby parking lot,” Chandler said.

He said there are three options for afternoon pickup. Car riders in the designated car line, bus riders in the safe loading zone, or walkers, using crosswalks and sidewalks to get to their homes in the vicinity of the campus.

“What we’ve witnessed is just very unsafe,” Chandler said. “When you have children darting in front of cars, walking in traffic, when you have parents, or any motorist, going at a very low speed, and the child has to rip the door open and jump in the car while it’s still moving.”

There are over 1,600 students at Mount Juliet Middle School, combined with students from West Wilson Middle School. School dismisses at 3:45 p.m.

Chandler said police will enforce any unlawful activity, like drivers stopping in the roadway or parking at private businesses.

“Early in the school year, the same amount of students were at the school, and we had that same traffic flow plan in place, and they were able to get everyone through in that amount of time to get students on their way home,” Chandler said. “We get the frustration, but we also have to keep our streets safe.”