Dade County parents press for answers regarding school safety - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Dade County parents press for answers regarding school safety

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Photo by Channel 3's Taneisha Cordell. Photo by Channel 3's Taneisha Cordell.

Are our schools safe? It's a question parents all over the nation have been asking, and one that was discussed Monday at Dade County High School.  This comes after three students were arrested for making threats and bringing a weapon to school. 

There were at least 50 parents, teachers, and students at this meeting. As school administrators and local law enforcement explained the recent dangers at the high school, many parents wondered what will be done to prevent it from happening again. 

READ MORE | UPDATE: Dade Co. student charged with felony after making threat

"We are all serious about it. Our kids' safety comes first," said Dade County parent, Dolly Harris. "I feel like Dade County staff and representatives of the county have done a great job so far, but you can’t always prevent things from happening." 

Several security topics were discussed. Officials focused on the nearly 300 security cameras all Dade County schools currently share. Sheriff Ray Cross hopes to address the need for more school resource officers with more funding. 

"My job as sheriff is to keep your children and your grandchildren safe and I’m going to do that to the fullest extent," said Cross. 

Metal detectors were another topic, but Dade County Police Chief Christy Smith listed several reasons why they may not be a good idea.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Dade Co. student charged with felony after making threat 

"You have to consider the fact that it will delay entry into the schools; keys go off, chains go off, belt buckles go off because on your shoes I mean it’s just not feasible." 

Many agree more needs to done, but not without the community's help. 

"We are a small community; everybody needs to be more involved. People can talk all day long and post things all day long on social media, but when it comes down to it nobody really wants to help except for the school staff and they can only do so much," said Harris. 

Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris also admitted a lack of security at the middle school, after parents mentioned the school's entrance is not monitored or secure. Harris says she is working with other schools officials to make changes. 

School officials say they're relying on students, teachers, and parents to report any threats or suspicious behavior. 



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