Today is Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Security concerns force postponement of TXR event

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By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
A postponed Parent Teacher Organization fund raiser and numerous parent complaints to the Wilson County Schools Department of Safety could result in legal action against a parent at Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School who has allegedly been harassing teachers and other parents at the school.

School administrators chose to postpone the Fall Festival, a PTO fund raiser for the school set for Saturday, Nov. 5, after numerous complaints regarding a parent that has been an ongoing concern for school officials during the past year.

I was called last Thursday and was told for security reasons, they were canceling the Fall Festival, said Diana Cavender, secretary of the TXR PTO.

Greg Lasater, Zone 5 Wilson County Board of Education member who represents the area, said he has received many phone calls regarding the parents behavior. He pointed out that David Burton, schools safety director, sent a letter to the parent earlier this year that barred her from coming onto school property.

Theyve had some issues there with her (the parent) about a bullying issue that occurred a year ago, Lasater said.

During Monday nights school board meeting, Lasater called for a recess to discuss the matter with the board and County Attorney Mike Jennings. Following the recess, Mike Davis, director of schools, said Jennings would pursue a legal end to the matter.

Jennings said on Tuesday he was gathering first-hand information from parents or teachers who may have been harassed by the parent, describing the situation as more of a harassment thing that might elevate to a safety issue.

He could not say whether the parent was harassing teachers, students, parents or all groups and said hes hoping anyone with knowledge of the situation will contact him as soon as possible.

(Mr. Jennings) will take whatever legal steps he needs to take to bring that situation to a peaceful resolution, Davis said during the board meeting.

Lasater pointed out at no point were students in danger and said the administration and Student Resource Officers have done their job well and made sure that safety at the school has never been compromised.

The kids out there are safe and if the teachers dont feel safe they need to speak up, Lasater said. The staff and administration have handled this well and they want to do whats in the best interest of the kids.

According to members of the schools PTO, the parent said she was planning to attend the Fall Festival and the administration felt it would be safer to err on the side of caution and postpone the festival.

Cavender said more than half of the PTOs budget is raised through the Fall Festival and noted she is unsure when the event will be rescheduled but is hopeful everything will be resolved.

School Safety Director David Burton could not be contacted by press time for comment.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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