Principal stays positive despite recent violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Principal stays positive despite recent violence

In an interview Monday, Mitchell High Principal John Ware wanted to point out what was right out in the open at his school.

"Right now, we have more academic all stars than any school," Ware said.

At Mitchell, the names of top scholars hang from the walls. Endless trophies, for everything from band to basketball, line the halls.   Students are exposed to the names of universities, and the countless possibilities they provide.

"Our goal is to have students in all these schools," Ware said. "We want them to be exposed to all these schools."

Ware has pitched this message ever since taking his job as principal seven years ago. He has pitched it even harder ever since February 11th, the day school dismissed early, after one student shot another three times at point blank range during a third period P.E. class.

"When you deal with public school system, you're going to have public problems," he said.

Now, extra police cruisers stay parked at the front doors, and police officers stand posted at each entrance at the school.  Passing through metal detectors is a daily routine for students.

Every other high school across the city is experiencing the same scenario. Even though his campus experienced the shooting firsthand, Ware isn't convinced this is the best option.

"Once we make the decision that this is what we want to do, then we can't stop it. We can never go back, and we're going to have officers in the schools, a large presence of officers in school, for the rest of our lifetime," Ware said.

A lifetime - something Ware said his students are preparing for, regardless of the current environment on campus.

Click here to e-mail Nick Kenney.

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