Shock continues to ripple through the nation since the Florida school shooting last week. It’s hitting home even among elementary schoolers in East Tennessee.
A Claiborne County fourth grader wrote to the sheriff asking for more protection at school.
The letter addressed to Sheriff David Ray reads:
“Dear Mr. Sheriff, I’ve heard about the school shootings and I’ve felt sad and scared. Please I am begging you, please let us have more protection at our schools. I don’t want anyone coming into our schools and hurting kids.”
TNT Primary School fourth grader Abigail Daniels wrote the letter, her mom said, after watching news coverage of the shooting in Florida.
“It’s just hard when you don’t have the right answers. I don’t know how you make them feel better,” said Deanna Daniels.
The 9-year old says while she was writing the letter she felt sad.
“It made me think about all the people who died in the shooting and the people who are still alive,” said Abigail.
Her request was simple, asking Sheriff Ray for better doors and windows that aren’t glass, as well as school resource officers.
“I almost cried. It brought tears to my eyes, it really did. It’s a shame and disgrace that our kids feel unsafe when they’re way from home at school,” added Sheriff Ray.
As of right now, only Claiborne County High School, Cumberland Gap High School and Clairfield Elementary School have full-time SROs. Sheriff Ray says that’s not enough and while his officers patrol area schools during their shift, he wants to make changes.
“I am going to prepare a budget to see what it would cost to put a school resource officer in every school in Claiborne County,” he added.
Abigail hasn’t stopped writing. Her mom says a letter has gone to her principal at TNT Primary as well.
“This is a wonderful life lesson. This let’s her know her little voice can be heard no matter how little she is. So I’m very proud of her,” added Daniels.
This fourth grader says she’s been feeling better already going to school this week.
“Don’t be afraid. It’s okay,” said Abigail.
Sheriff Ray says since the Florida shooting, there have not been any threats at Claiborne County schools. There have been rumors and because of that, they had officers at schools as a precaution on Friday.
The Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office takes all tips and concerns seriously, Sheriff Ray says he often speaks with the district attorney on which way to proceed with cases involving students making threats. Sheriff Ray reminds everyone if you see something, say something.