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Monday, May 2, 2016

Parents complain about Thomas threat

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's been an insightful week for educators and administrators nationwide.

Locally, a perfect storm of events aligned last week and served to highlight security flaws in the Bedford County school system.

A Thomas Magnet School parent had made specific threats against the school, inferring that if an anticipated diagnosis of cancer were made this week, he'd return to the school with a gun and start shooting.

Safety talk

In the regularly scheduled meeting Bedford County School Board Tuesday evening, a standard agenda took a back seat to a lengthy discussion about school safety.

In a meeting earlier in the afternoon, the finance committee had made a recommendation to the county commission to hire seven student resource officers to provide coverage to each county school.

Parents of the school were outraged -- not just that the school failed to communicate the issue immediately, but that Tyrone Watts made the threat, was arrested and released on bail within a few hours. (He was later arrested for violation of parole and is currently being held without bond).

More complete details will be provided in Thursday's T-G.

Added help

With a series of staffing changes in school administration this year, TMS was the only school in the county operating without an assistant principal in place.

At the request of principal Mindi DeWitt and Cheryl Harris, assistant superintendent, Harris will move her office to TMS and assume a defacto assistant principal role for the remainder of the school year, while continuing to be an active participant in teacher and administrator evaluations system-wide.

After investing time in community comment, remaining business was dispatched quickly, with the board agreeing to extend a three year contract for anti-virus software, and accepting recommended budget amendments from the county Finance department.