Schools and Police Trying To Work Out Differences

Schools and Police Trying To Work Out Differences

The superintendent of Shelby County Schools and the director of Memphis Police say they are working together to make sure security problems are solved.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The superintendent of Shelby County Schools and the director of Memphis Police say they are working together to make sure security problems are solved.

Friday, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson blamed police for not showing up at schools, while Police Director Toney Armstrong blamed the schools for not following proper procedure.

It's a situation that has one veteran school board member angry.

Everything seemed ready to go just a few weeks ago.

School officials said most of the problems had been worked out and they expected schools to open smoothly, with maybe a few hiccups.

Those hiccups have been replaced by whooping cough.

Westside Elementary School had the peaceful look and feel of a school in a 1950's movie.

A far cry from last Thursday, when a five-year-old kindergarten student brought a loaded gun to school in a backpack. It went off in the school's cafeteria.

Opening a huge can of worms between the schools and the Memphis Police over security.

“This needed to be worked out beforehand. I think we all thought it was. It goes back to what I said at the beginning. This was a disaster waiting to happen,” commissioner Terry Roland said.

Roland talked about an issue he's complained about for a long time.

Why does school security Chief Gerald darling make $157,000 a year? More than mayors of Memphis and Shelby County. And what does the school security squad do?

“I think he's making entirely too much money. If You're going to let Memphis police and let sheriff's handle it why do you have a personal security thing,” Roland said.

The school system refused to do any interviews on the subject, just saying that superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Police Director Toney Armstrong met this weekend, and agree the highest priority is work together to ensure all students are safe in schools.

Funny thing is, school board member David Pickler thought this had all been worked out before the start of schools.

“The board is in many cases finding out about things well after they occur. In some cases, we're having to deal with the complaints and calls from out constituents and hear from them and not hear in advance from the administration,” Pickler said.

The next school board meeting is tomorrow night. Pickler says they'll talk about security. It will be the last 23 member board meeting. On September first, the board will have seven members.

And things will change says Pickler.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus