Marshall Co. High School Outlines Security Changes, Community Members Protest

Jun 6, 2018

Credit NICOLE ERWIN / WKMS

Marshall County High School is making several security changes for the upcoming school year.

The decisions follow the deadly shooting at the school in January.

Superintendent Trent Lovett detailed the changes in a release this week.

He said metal detectors are being installed, the district will have five armed resource officers instead of one, school entrances will be more closely monitored, security cameras are being updated and students can no longer carry backpacks.

Some of these changes extend to the middle schools. North and South Middle will also get new metal detectors and are not allowed to carry backpacks. Elementary school students will be allowed mesh or clear backpacks.

Size restrictions on personal bags such as purses or laptop bags have yet to be determined.

Sports bags will be allowed but will be required to pass through metal detectors, and can be searched if probable cause is found to do so.

Some community members are protesting these attempts to improve school security, including high school student Lily Dunn.

She started a Change.org petition in response to the changes, asking the administration to have resource officers carry tasers instead of guns.

She said on the site “students would be more comfortable if officers carried stun guns or something of that sort instead of guns and bullets.”

Lovett said in the release the changes were decided in a June 4 committee meeting. The committee consists of Lovett, a member of the Board of Education, a bus driver, parents, students, school security staff, and representatives of the families.

“These decisions were not made lightly; they are the result of many months of careful deliberation, expert advice, and frank discussion,” Lovett said.

The high school has implemented bag checks and wand metal detectors in recent months.

This story has been updated to include a link to the online petition.