NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Some teachers at Maplewood High School are concerned about how the administration of that school communicates to teachers during dangerous situations.
WSMV4 obtained a message from a teacher who wanted to remain anonymous that said the administration did not tell teachers that there was a gun found in the building on Monday.
In the message, the teacher also said they found out about the incident from the news that night.
Sean Braisted, spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools, said what happened was a misunderstanding and a result of miscommunication.
“We regret that if there was any staff that found out through the media. That shouldn’t have happened,” Braisted said.
WSMV asked the district to explain what happened Monday. Braisted said Maplewood’s principal was out of the office on Monday and did not have access to the callout system, which notifies parents of any kind of school-related information.
Braisted went on to say the communication office was asked to do the callout and that’s where they said the misunderstanding happened.
“We sent it to families. There was a misunderstanding between us and the school as to who was notifying the staff,” Braisted said. “Normally the staff would either be notified separately or at the same time, and so I found out today that didn’t happen. We certainly regret the error to the faculty.”
In the message obtained from the teacher, it said that teachers were told “per the district’s policy” it is not protocol for teachers to be notified.
WSMV4 asked why teachers wouldn’t be notified. Braisted said the guidance given to principals references parents. However, staff/teachers are not specifically called out as being required to be notified separately.
“It’s not necessarily required to go to staff, and certainly during the day you would normally not send a phone all to staff because you wouldn’t want everyone to be getting a call during classroom instruction period,” Braisted said. “We do obviously encourage staff to be notified.
Braisted said if there is a question about that, they will provide further clarity to school administrators.
WSMV4 asked what is Metro Schools’ policy for notifying teachers of incidents like this.
“We defer to principal discretion as to how they communicate with staff,” Braisted said. “They can communicate via email. They can communicate via faculty meetings. It really depends on the school situation and what the situation requires.”
He said leaving teachers out was not intentional and also said the principal talked to faculty members about the incident the next day.
How will the school system prevent something like this from happening again?
“This was sort of a unique situation and obviously in the future, if we have a situation where the principal is ours and they’re not asking us to do it, we will probably make sure that the teachers are included on that call our or we’ll make sure to ask have you talked to your staff,” Braisted said.
As for the student who brought the loaded gun to Maplewood, Metro Police said the student ran away from the school on Monday and has not been caught as of Thursday.
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