MCS board member sounds off on school safety measures - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

MCS board member sounds off on school safety measures

A Memphis school went on lockdown this week after a high schooler shot another student inside a classroom.

One teenager was arrested, another one taken to the hospital after Wednesday's shooting at Manassas High.

The same day someone who was not a student made it onto the campus of Fairley High with a gun.

At least one Memphis City School board member says last week's incidents are evidence there needs to be less talking and more action within the city school district.

It was the Memphis City School board that approved a measure requiring nine metal detector checks a year at the city's middle and high schools.

But one of the board's newest members isn't on board. "Why don't we have metal detectors in operation every day at every school, that's just ridiculous to me," says School Board Commissioner Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

Whalum says he's been told that daily checks require too much manpower. "It's stupid to me to say well it would take too many people, it only takes one gun and one bullet to kill somebody," he adds.

Whalum says weapons in city schools is a symptom of a much broader problem. "A whole lot of show and not enough substance," he adds.

He takes issue with the district's motto, "Every Child Every Day College Bound". "Every child every day is not college bound," Whalum adds.

Whalum accuses the administration of being caught up in projecting an image of success without taking the necessary steps to get there.

"I think we've got to stop lying to the children. Wwe've gotta stop lying to the public, we're lying," says Whalum.

This week alone, the city school system made headlines for guns. And a shocking audit that revealed millions in mismanaged money and word of an FBI investigation. All while the school board is searching for a new superintendent.

"What professional competent person wants to come into a quagmire of publicity," Whalum asks.

Whalum says he isn't giving up yet, but added, he won't run again when his current term on the school board expires.


Click here to email Anna Marie Hartman.

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