By Max Hrenda
Although done by four smaller groups, the Carter County School Safety Committee’s preliminary work has yielded a common theme: School Resource Officers.
“We heard a lot of the same things from principals,” said Mickey Taylor, director of security for Carter County Schools, speaking at the full committee’s first meeting Wednesday. “They all wanted an SRO.”
“We need to have an SRO (in schools) all the time,” said Carter County Board of Education Chairman Kelly Crain. “There are days they are out, and we need one everywhere.”
“When it comes down to the cost, the best thing is probably going to be to put an SRO in every school,” said County Commissioner Sonja Culler. “I think that would make a huge difference.”
The committee had previously divided itself into four focus groups; each team visited four of the county’s 16 schools to discuss safety issues with the teachers and principals. The full committee convened Wednesday afternoon to share the results.
The county currently has six SROs to patrol the county’s 16 schools.
Although the SROs are the principals’ ideal choice for defense, James Hughes, the committee’s citizen-at-large, said he noticed several flaws within the SRO system.