Parents need answers after Chelsea scare

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dear Editor,

My daughter Hannah is in the fifth grade at Chelsea Intermediate School, and Feb. 12 her school was on a code red lockdown because there was a 21-year-old man holding five girls hostage with a semi-automatic handgun.

I am not getting answers to questions I have regarding my child’s safety.

“Code Red Lockdown. Not a drill. Come get me and Molly. I love you.” Those are texts sent to me from my 10-year-old daughter Feb. 12 from Chelsea Intermediate School, which is joined to Chelsea Middle School.

I want answers. I am the mother of a child that goes to Chelsea Intermediate and am appalled at the lack of answers we are getting. Thank God that no one was hurt Feb. 12, but we still deserve answers! Where did the gunman get the gun? What door did the gunman enter? Why was the 21-year old-gunman allowed to hang out inside a middle school hours before he held those girls hostage? Does he have any history with mental problems? If he did, was the school where he was employed part time aware of this?

At the meeting Feb. 12, when parents were voicing concern, it was made known that the side doors to the middle school were broken and had been broken for a long time. Why aren’t we getting answers about this?

Had I known that those doors were broken and anyone could enter the school, I would have done whatever I could to repair those doors or have the doors repaired. What was done to repair the doors by anyone who knew they were broken? Why hasn’t anyone interviewed the principals about those doors?

We, as parents of children attending Chelsea schools, are always getting fundraisers to sell so the school can purchase items like computers and other learning materials for our children.

Why isn’t anyone doing a fundraiser to make our schools safe for our children? It does no good to have a fundraiser for educational needs if my child isn’t safe and she has to worry that another gunman is going to come in the school. I need help and my children need help getting a fundraiser to repair those problems now!

The representative for the Shelby County Board of Education, Cindy Warner, said that parents have to be “patient.” Patient? She also said that they couldn’t notify the parents via mass e-mail, etc. because the administrators, staff, etc. had to take care of the situation at hand.

I agree, but the board of education knew something was happening and they should have the ability to notify all parents when something happens. She mentioned they had computer issues that had to be addressed before they could implement a mass notification system. Tell us what you need!

What do you need to repair the broken locks, doors, etc.? I am sure the parents of Chelsea’s students would be more than willing to donate to a cause to repair the schools to ensure the safety of our children. Somebody please help us get answers!

Ivy Wilson