Violence in schools is on the minds of a lot of parents in East Tennessee. In the hopes of making our schools safer, a large group has started a movement to push our elected officials for change.
Jenn Lynn and Stacha Pressley created the Facebook group, Tennessee Parents Against School Violence after a bomb threat at Heritage High School nearly two weeks ago. In the wake of school threats like this and others across the country, it hits close to home for the two moms.
“They need to be educated and not worried about someone coming in and attacking them. Walking through the hallways and being bullied. We want change,” said Pressley.
More than 700 parents also want change, the Facebook group has gained hundreds of members since it’s start. The mission is to share information, create positive change and address concerns about student safety.
“We want to be solution focused. We want this to be a no judgment zone. We want any ideas,” said Pressley.
Pressley says those ideas will be drafted into a petition, sent to local and state elected officials to hopefully find a solution to reduce school violence, if not stop it altogether.
“We want a safe place for our teachers to be able to report these things and for someone actually do something. We want these children to get the help.”
The parents in this group have suggested a bigger budget for teacher training, signs to watch for in children and bullying protocols. But to make change happen, they need 100,000 signatures on the petition.
Pressley adds, “We can’t do this alone. We need the parents, the teachers, everyone in this community.”
The group will be drafting a petition together on Monday, March 5, and they hope to hear other people’s input.