SCS Coming Up Short After Promises Of A ‘World-Class System’

(Memphis) The promise was a world-class school system.

Now some parents are complaining all they’re getting is a world-class mess.

Four days after a gunshot at Westside Elementary, there are still plenty of questions about why it took an hour for police to respond.

The finger-pointing between Shelby County Schools and Memphis police have many parents wondering if anyone knows what’s going on with school security.

The fact that school started without a clear plan in place, plus the police director and superintendent never even talking about school security, is mind-blowing to some.

“They certainly need to have some very clear procedures on that,” said Barbara Prescott, a Transition Planning Commission chairman.

Prescott helped piece together the school merger puzzle, which included security.

But it’s a plan most people didn’t seem to know.

Everyone’s still trying to figure out who should’ve responded to a gun shot at Westside Elementary last week.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for all security since the merger.

MPD officers will be in the old MCS schools until December.

“There are some things they are not able to do that would be world-class,” said Prescott.

Some say it’s because there are too many chefs in the kitchen.

There’s Sheriff Bill Oldham, MPD Director Toney Armstrong and Gerald Darling.

He’s the school districts head of security and makes money more than Oldham or Armstrong, with a staff less than half the size.

It leaves parents like Martina Rozie asking who’s really in charge.

“The first thing that comes to my mind is they were trying to hide something or they were just careless about it,” said Rozie.

Armstrong says the school district dropped the ball by calling its own security instead of 911, even if there was no immediate danger.

Superintendent Hopson and Director Armstrong met over the weekend to sort out the confusion and the new protocol is to call both MPD and the Sheriff’s Office when there is an incident.

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