PTA leader raises own money for school security

PTA leader raises own money for school security

Posted:
Jennifer Nagel says the time to upgrade security at Northwest Middle School is now. She points out the school has no buzzer or intercom system. The doors don't even lock automatically. Jennifer Nagel says the time to upgrade security at Northwest Middle School is now. She points out the school has no buzzer or intercom system. The doors don't even lock automatically.
"In a perfect world, I would hope no PTA would have to raise funds for a security system and that we would have enough funding in the county do that," Sandra Rowcliffe said. "In a perfect world, I would hope no PTA would have to raise funds for a security system and that we would have enough funding in the county do that," Sandra Rowcliffe said.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The head of the PTA group at a Knox County school has started the process of raising money for school security upgrades.

She says she doesn't want to wait on security improvements from the superintendent for schools across the county.

Jennifer Nagel says the time to upgrade security at Northwest Middle School is now. She points out the school has no buzzer or intercom system. The doors don't even lock automatically.

"With the way the school is setup, it's hard to keep the doors locked, without someone having to [do it] physically," Nagel said.

She says the school's principal is backing her idea of shifting the PTA's annual fundraising program to help fund school security.
     
The goal is to raise $8,000 to upgrade security to include a badge swipe system for the school's doors and other features.
    
"I know that the schools are doing all that they can to keep the children safe at this time. I'm all for having the officers, having the cameras set up, but I also think the schools need to have that buzzer-intercom system," she said.

But Sandra Rowcliffe, the head of Knox county's PTA, is cautioning this method of funding.
     
"In a perfect world, I would hope no PTA would have to raise funds for a security system and that we would have enough funding in the county do that," she said.

Dr. Jim McIntyre has maintained county schools are safe, but has promised to provide more funding for security and pushed for an armed guard at every school. He says he'll make sure the school system pays for it.

"I think those are an obligation of the school system. I think those are things we shouldn't have to have parents raising money for or using coupon book money for," Dr. McIntyre said.

He plans to present a budget to include a three -prong strategy for school security, which does include implementing things like camera-buzzer and keyless entry systems - measures those at Northwest Middle School are asking for.

The question is when will it happen?

"Unfortunately it's not something that can be fixed in a 24-hour period," Rowcliffe said.

Nagel says Northwest Middle School's PTA has raised about $1,500 for security equipment.

Nearly $300 came from a Papa Murphy's fundraiser last week.

Nagel says Papa Murphy's may sponsor another fundraiser sometime next month.

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