Parent criticism prompts school board press conference - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Parent criticism prompts school board press conference

Memphis school board members have been criticized on campus and on radio talk shows since Monday's shooting at Mitchell High School.

"I'm a little sad and upset," said one parent.

"They owe an apology," added another.

Board member say they do care.

"What we want you to understand community is that we do take this matter seriously," said Board President Tomeka Hart.

She took the helm during a hastily-called news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"This is in response to some phone calls many of us got from constituents who are very concerned," said Hart.

Many were concerned about her behavior and that of board member Patrice Robinson in the hours after Monday morning's shooting.

"First of all, Tomeka Hart and Patrice had no business smiling on TV," said a caller on WDIA's morning show.

"We just want you to know that this is a concern for us," said Hart.

They admit, each shooting has gotten progressively worse.  There have been three so far this year.  The latest victim remains in critical condition.  It's no laughing matter.

"We truly are concerned and truly are addressing the issues of security," said Hart.

Metal detectors were up and running at Mitchell High 24 hours after the shooting.  Other schools are using them weekly, some even daily.  The board is currently considering a district-wide policy.

"I have a lot of confidence in our principals and teachers who man our schools on a daily basis," said Interim Superintendent Dan Ward.

It's the confidence of parents they're concerned about.


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