School overhauls security after abduction attempts

Concord Christian School overhauls security after abduction attempts

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By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Education Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A private school is overhauling its security procedures after two attempted child abductions over the past month in Knox County.

One incident happened at Christian Academy of Knoxville. The other was at Grace Christian Academy.

Safety has always been a top priority at Concord Christian School, but reports about someone trying to take two children at the other private schools had officials re-examining their security protocols.

"It really made us step back and take a look at what we do. It was very disturbing," said Interim Head Master Leigh Ledet. "We came up with some new pickup procedures and new security measures. It's pretty much going to be really hard to get your child out of this school without the proper identification."

Jason Zachary is the father of an elementary student at Concord Christian. He says what scared him most was hearing a man drove through a pickup line at another school with a child's name on a card in his window.

"It's terrifying, I mean, that is your worst fear as a parent," said Zachary.

He also says he appreciates school administrators keeping parents informed. "CCS actually sent out an email informing everybody of the specifics of what had happened at the other schools. It was good to know they were on top of it, proactive and taking some security measures to help with some of the security here."

Without giving out too much information about the new security measures, Concord Christian has new car cards for student pickup. The cards have lots of information on them, to make them tough to duplicate.

"Our new procedures make our carpool lines a little longer, but we've had nothing but positive comments," Ledet said.

Not only are teachers and administrators more alert, but so are parents like Keely Jennings, a mother of three.

"As a mom, my eyes are always watching for that truck, and for a man that doesn't look like he belongs, and ready to take what action I need to just to protect our kids," Jennings said.

School officials say parents will also see more administrators outside during drop off and pick up times, and several parents have volunteered to patrol the parking lot.

No arrests have been made in the two kidnapping attempts, but the FBI is investigating the case at Grace Christian.

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