Elizabethton City Schools is starting the school year off safer in each elementary school. Grant funding by the state was awarded to Elizabethton City Schools. The funding will provide an SRO (School Resource Officer) in all three Elementary Schools. The grant money awarded provided only a portion of the SRO’s salary. The City of Elizabethton also contributed funds to help make up the remainder of the salaries. Effective August 8, 2019, an SRO was placed at East Side, Harold McCormick, and West Side Elementary Schools; this will be in addition to the SRO’s that are currently placed at T.A. Dugger and Elizabethton High School. Each SRO will work closely with the administrative staff at each school in effort to provide a safer environment for students and staff.
Parents and staff are pleased with the decision to place SRO’s in all Elizabethton City Elementary Schools. A parent Jessica Fitzgerald has two children that attend Harold McCormick Elementary. She stated, “I am happy to hear SRO’s are now at my children’s school. It gives you peace of mind as a parent that someone who is trained in hostile situations will be there the diffuse whatever situation might occur.”
The Elizabethton Police Department is excited to help with the opportunity to provide an officer in each elementary school. Chief Jason Shaw from the Elizabethton Police Department stated, “He was excited about the new opportunity for SRO’s to be in each school and able to interact with students on a daily basis.” He said, “The officers are a good role model for students with a sense of security.” He is thankful for the Elizabethton City Schools applying for the grant and receiving the funding. He is also thankful for the City of Elizabethton contributing to help provide additional funding to make this opportunity possible for the officers.
The Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander stated, he was “Glad the stars aligned, and Elizabethton City staff was able to make this happen. The key is safety for the students and help the officers be a mentor for them as they grow up.” He thinks this is a great opportunity for a positive role model in each school.
The Superintendent of Elizabethton City Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour stated: “If we all work together then we can make great things happen.” He said, “Having an SRO in all the elementary schools has been a goal for years.” He wants the real focus to be on the safety of the students and staff with the help of the Elizabethton Police Department. Dr. Gardenhour would like to thank the Governor’s Grant from the state, Elizabethton City Council, Mayor, and the Elizabethton Police Department for all working together to help make this dream become reality for the elementary schools.