Image: Dr. Adrienne Battle in classroom. Image Credit: mnps.org
The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –
MNPS schools started this week, after several weeks of speculation as to whether MNPS and MNPD will work together with the use of newly budgeted resources provided by Governor Bill Lee to staff every elementary school in Metro Nashville with an armed SRO.
The focus this new school year, as parents send their kids back to the classroom, is on safety, which Dr. Adrienne Battle says is being addressed in a “comprehensive” way, with the inclusion of what she says they know have been the most effective strategies for their students.
Dr. Battle said, “This school year we are doubling down on things we know work for our students, everything from our academic and curriculum approaches to our SEL (our social-emotional learning) integration, as well as making sure we have safe and secure conditions.”
The phrase “social emotional learning,” which critics such as subject matter expert and scholar Dr. James Lindsay characterize as “evil,” is used as a cover to introduce Marxist ideologies, such as critical race theory to school children and emphasizes progressive moral values like those we currently see in the LGBTQ+ agenda.
Dr. Battle has been a skeptic when it comes to the admission of an armed SRO in every elementary school stating that when armed officers are present, there is an increase in negative interactions between black students, and students with disabilities.
In addition to the resistance of MNPS administration to place an SRO at the elementary level, MNPD has indicated that they are short the resources, even with the over 5 million dollars that is available to them through Governor Lee’s budget increases for school safety.
MNPS is instead this year opting for a different approach, that to some parents, especially those who are more conservative, would find concerning at minimum.
This approach, according to reports, includes “a robust data and tracking system in partnership with the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to make sure they have the necessary support systems for students’ needs.”
Battle further stated that this will include something she called “advocacy centers” at the elementary level, and “peace centers” at the middle and high school levels, which will be staffed with “trained individuals”.
Battle didn’t elaborate on who these individuals are and what their training is, and how it equips them to handle whatever it is that is managed in an “advocacy” or “peace” center.
The apparent obfuscation about what all of this means seems to have a purpose.
Battle explained, “ With regard to safety and security, it’s a fine line because we want to be as transparent as possible; we want to really emphasize our continuum of care that everyone really does play a role in what that looks like, but we also want to be smart about what we release on our safety and security plans so we’re not equipping someone who might want to do harm with information that would allow them to do harm to our students and our staff.”
The district says they will continue to work on an “age appropriate” model for incoming SRO’s while the department finds and trains the resources needed to eventually staff the elementary schools.
The report stated that there was an officer at one of the elementary schools passing out badges and playing music. Battle said this would enable the students to develop a positive experiential interaction with police in anticipation of a permanent police presence, when of course they are able to get around to it.
Finally, a new position called an “safety ambassador” is being assigned inside all elementary school buildings, and they are in the process of filling those positions. Again, no elaboration was made about what type of person would fill this position, or what qualifies them to do the job. Or for that matter, what the job entails.
But whatever it is, Dr, Battle says it’s an important one, “The right fit of our safety ambassadors, just like our teachers and our support staff and our principal leadership, matters to the community.”
Based on the reports, this school year in MNPS will be filled with “robust” data and tracking, more intensive SEL, no actual on-site security, and people who will be counseling children in ways no one is fully explaining.
We will be following any new developments in this story as the year progresses.
About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member. Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at email@example.com.