Parents respond to new security measures implemented at Austin-East

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Thursday will be Austin-East Magnet High School students’ first full day back in the classroom after a deadly officer-involved shooting inside the school last week.

Knox County Schools released a list of precautions and security procedures students and staff will have to go through when entering the building.

Some parents say they are OK with the extra security measures, but others are not.

“I would rather my children and other’s children at the school be somewhat uncomfortable if that means keeping them alive,” said Breyauna Holloway who’s a mother of two Austin-East students.

Felecia Outsey is also a mother of an Austin-East student but thinks differently.

“For me, I’m not for that,” she said. “That’s just a recipe for failure.”

Some of the new precautions include metal detector wands, searches, and extra alarms around the school.

“Having that metal detector wand waved over you and your classmates every day before you start school, I mean that’s not the most pleasant thing to start your day, but I’m also of the understanding that it needs to be done,” said Holloway.

Holloway adds that she made sure her two children were involved in the decision to go back to the classroom, “I asked them, I talked to them and I made sure they were okay with going back into the building. they are.”

Holloway said extra security will help decrease the violence in and around the school, but Outsey feels it will instill fear.

“Now you really have them scared,” Outsey explained. “You don’t have them feeling safe. They’re not feeling safe, but the other thing is that you might be just doing that for the kids but what about the parents?”

Though five Austin-East students have been killed this year — only one happened inside the school.

Holloway said extra security could help decrease the risk of something like that happening again.

“It wasn’t a child that killed Anthony but it’s a child with a gun in there, in the school,” Holloway said. “And as quiet as it’s kept, he probably wants the only student in the building with a gun that day. He was just the only one that got caught.”

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