Mother after Hamilton Co. school meeting: "you didn't give us an - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mother after Hamilton Co. school meeting: "you didn't give us anything"

Posted: Updated:
Ooltewah graduate and Hamilton County parent Wendy Burchfield. Ooltewah graduate and Hamilton County parent Wendy Burchfield.

Some Hamilton County parents have growing lists of questions for the Hamilton County school district after Wednesday night's special session school board meeting.

The meeting was held two-and-a-half weeks after three Ooltewah basketball players were arrested after police say they raped a fellow teammate during a team trip to Gatlinburg.

The public portion of Wednesday's meeting lasted only five minutes and included a statement from the chairman but no chance for questions from the crowd or the media.

READ MORE | Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith's statement

"It's terrifying because you're not giving me any answers but you expect me to continue to put my children in your care," said Wendy Burchfield.

Hamilton County parents like Wendy Burchfield wait for answers from the school district after a meeting that left many in the dark. Burchfield said she wants accountability, transparency and a plan to ensure this doesn't happen again. School officials instead stayed silent, citing a court order.

"For you to call a special meeting and act like it was going to give us something, at the end of the day, you didn't give us anything," she said about the Wednesday evening meeting. "There's a way for you to answer what happened and a way for you to tell me what you're going to do to prevent it from happening again without sacrificing the confidentiality of these children."

Burchfield, who went to Ooltewah in the 90s, joined a still-growing list of almost 200 former students who signed a letter to the superintendent asking "how have we gotten to this point?"

READ MORE | Hamilton Co. School Board Chairman Dr. Jonathan Welch's statement

"It's tough watching this happen to my Alma Mater because I have great memories here but its also tough as a parent to continue leaving my kids in the hands of the county that doesn't seem to have any answers as to what happened or how to prevent what happened from happening again."

Hamilton County school board members say they have a special committee that will look at the hazing and bullying policy as well as its penalties at its next meeting January 21. That meeting is regularly scheduled and will include a time for public comment.

Powered by Frankly