Parents camping out in tents on a parking lot outside Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences say they are not only having to endure the long wait but also deal with heckling and vandalism.
Early Wednesday morning, at least three tents were slashed and several canvas chairs damaged. Police were told by a witness that she heard a noise around 4:30 a.m. On one of the canvas chairs the letters EX were cut into the material. Those resemble the symbols of a fraternity that has a nearby house.
Jessica Naessig, who was first in line and who formulated rules for the unique campout, said she does not believe the vandalism came from the Sigma Chi fraternity. She said it may have been a rival fraternity trying to get Sigma Chi in trouble.
But she said cars and trucks coming and going from the fraternity house behind CSAS do disrupt the camp.
"They drive through in the middle of the night making a lot of noise and throwing things out," she said.
Ed Powers, Sigma Chi president, met with Ms. Naessig on Wednesday morning to apologize for the problems the group is having. He said he does not believe any of his fraternity members slashed the tents.
Mr. Powers said, "We have absolutely no problem with the campers being here. Last year, we let some of them sleep on our porch."
The tents that were vandalized were not occupied because Ms. Naessig said under the rules this year those in line don't have to be onsite around the clock. But they must be present at scheduled rollcalls, or they lose their place in line.
She said two people have lost their place thus far. One was moved to the back of the line and another has not returned.
There are currently 58 in line for the Saturday applications.
Ms. Naessig said she was advised there are 57 kindergarten slots at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and 40 at Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts. She said some of those will be taken by siblings of current magnet students, by children of teachers and by students who are held back.
Roll call today is 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
On Thursday, it will be 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. On Friday, it will be 8 a.m., noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
There will be a roll call at midnight as the big day arrives Saturday and the final roll call at 8 a.m.