By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
A meeting is set today (Friday, Nov. 11) between County Attorney Mike Jennings, Wilson County Director of Schools Mike Davis, School Safety Director David Burton and Tuckers Crossroads Elementary Principal Susie Breedwell to determine how to resolve a security issue that has many parents concerned for their childrens safety.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, the schools PTO Fall Festival was cancelled due to security concerns that are reportedly tied to a parent who has been barred from coming onto school property and has allegedly been video taping and photographing parents and students as they leave the school.
The matter was turned over to Jennings when the Wilson County Board of Education asked him Monday night during their regular meeting to take any legal steps to resolve the situation.
In that time, Jennings said he has gathered information from parents and teachers at the school, noting that many parents were concerned about the woman allegedly video taping from a small church across the street.
Ive gotten several emails and the primary concern is of her video taping people at the school, Jennings said.
On June 27, Burton sent the parent in question a letter telling she was not permitted to come onto school property with the exception of dropping off and picking up her child in the mornings and afternoons.
The letter described the parent as displaying erratic, egregious and aggressive behavior as well as having accosted and harassed school personnel and students. Jennings said the parent was apparently dissatisfied with the schools actions regarding numerous bullying complaints.
It appears over a couple of years she has lodged several complaints, and she made a bullying complaint that the school investigated and found it to be without merit, he said.
Jennings noted all the information given to him by the school system indicated the bullying complaints were adequately investigated by TXR administration but found no cause to take action.
Several complaints have been filed with the Wilson County Sheriffs Department regarding the situation including two where a parent of a male student alleged the woman was video taping her and her son as they left the school.
On Oct. 26 a complaint was filed with the department claiming the woman was video taping a parent and her son as they walked from the school building to their vehicle. The report said the woman was video taping the mother and son on Oct. 25 around 3 p.m. and on Oct. 26 around 11:30 a.m.
That same parent filed a second complaint with the department in which she alleged the woman was taking photographs of her and her son as they left school from across the street. The report said the parent indicated she was concerned about her and her sons well-being.
There is a privacy issue there, and in most cases privacy issues are with the individual, Jennings said, but added he would discuss how to proceed on this matter with Davis, Burton and Breedwell today.
The parent in question had also previously filed a complaint with the WCSD in which she said her child was almost struck by a vehicle in the school parking lot, with the report noting the parent felt it was more than an accident.
On Sept. 12 the parent claimed her child was nearly struck by a Chrysler PT Cruiser that was backing out of a parking space. The Student Resource Officer at Tuckers, Pete Mecher, is noted in the report as saying the child was not in danger of being struck by the vehicle.
The report said the parent felt a teacher was driving the vehicle and that it was not an accident due to issues the parent had been having with the school and the school system.
On Oct. 20 the parent reportedly came into the school building, sparking another complaint to be filed by Mecher that said she came to pick up her child to leave school. The letter sent to the parent on June 27 said she was to only drop off and pick up her child in the car rider lane in the morning and afternoon.
According to the letter, if the parent came onto school property at any other time, she would be arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, harassment and assault. However, the report did not indicate she was arrested or that charges were filed.
In that letter we had made some changes that allowed her to come onto campus to drop off and pick up her child, Jennings said.
Jennings did not say whether any of the parents actions were illegal but said he would determine how to proceed with resolving the situation after the meeting with school officials today.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editors Note: Although the names of the parents are contained in the complaints on file at the Wilson County Sheriffs Department which are public record, The Wilson Post has decided not to identify any of the individuals because no charges have been filed against anyone in this matter as of press time.
From Post staff reports
Some 100 veterans, including five from World War II, were treated to breakfast Thursday, Nov. 10 and heard the Tennessee Commissioner of Veteran Affairs encourage them and other veterans to seek out her office for help and assistance.
Many-Bears Grinder, state commissioner of Veteran Affairs, said her office is sensitive to the needs of veterans and recognizes that many may be unaware of the assistance that is available to them or to widows of veterans.
The commissioner made her remarks at the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary Thursday morning at the clubs second annual breakfast event to be hosted for area veterans.
Grinder, before being appointed to the commissioner post by Gov. Bill Haslam, held the rank of colonel in the Tennessee Army National Guard. She served as Director of Logistics for the Guard in Nashville and previously served as the Director of Personnel.
Grinder is a member of several military and veterans associations, including the Military Officers Association, American Legion and Vietnam Veterans of America.
Grinder has a masters in Strategic Studies from Army War College and a masters in Human Resource Management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
She is a Bronze Star Medal recipient, and she is an Operation Enduring Freedom combat veteran.
By TOMMY BRYAN
Cumberland is playing for at least a share of the MSC West Division championship and a berth in the 16-team NAIA playoffs as the Bulldogs host old nemesis University of the Cumberlands Saturday in the regular season finale.
Kickoff is set for 12 Noon at Lindsey Donnell Stadium. Live radio coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. on WANT FM 98.9. Senior Day activities will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Weve got a chance here to win the conference championship and send our seniors into the playoffs, said CU coach Dewayne Alexander. Last year we went up to the Cumberlands and lost in a similar situation. Those guys were recognized as conference champs and we had to sit there and watch, its been a goal of this team to win the West title.
Its been a motivating factor for our guys. We still control what happens. If we win, we get at least a share of the title and with it a playoff spot.
Cumberland (7-2 / 4-1) dropped from No. 14 to No. 20 in the NAIA Coaches Poll following last weeks 34-21 loss at Belhaven, snapping a six-game Bulldog win streak.
The University of the Cumberlands comes in 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the MSC West after trampling Faulkner 62-28 last week in Montgomery, Ala. UC is scoring an average of 34.3 points per game.
Every year Ive been here, weve always played well on Senior Day, Alexander said, well need that kind of effort on Saturday. We know Cumberlands in going to come in here and play hard, bottom line it should be an intense, exciting ballgame.
I think if we play hard and play well -- well be conference champs and go on into the playoffs.
Dog bites -- Dating back to last season, CU has won nine consecutive games at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.
Senior LB Ben Miller will be a game time decision as the Gallatin native deals with a painful hip injury.
Freshman wingback / kick returner Quan Johnson will not be available due to a concussion suffered last week at Belhaven.
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Devin Guthrie is also out of action with a high ankle sprain.
Playoff announcement -- The 16-team NAIA postseason pairings will be announced 2 p.m. Sunday on www.naia.csvt.com. Certified conference champions rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the final Coaches Top 25 poll will automatically qualify for the playoffs.