Three Hamilton County General Sessions Court judges on Friday called on County School Supt. Jim Scales and the County School Board to "immediately address the violence occurring in several schools."
Judge David Bales said, "I am receiving calls from teachers and parents asking if there is anything that we as judges can do. These concerns should be addressed to Dr. Scales and to school officials.
"Their calls to me indicate that they are desperate for help and concerned for the safety of their kids. To say there is a zero tolerance for violence in our schools and to do nothing when violence occurs is disingenuous. Violence toward students and teachers creating an unstable learning environment subjects all kids to being left behind."
Judge Bob Moon said, "If a kid cannot go to school and learn in a safe environment, then this country has no sustainable future. I am disappointed in the silence of those elected representatives who have sat idly by and not demanded protection for students and teachers. I applaud those few who have spoken up publicly."
Judge Moon said, "I knew that our educational system was in trouble when we had to plant a police officer in our schools to control disciplinary problems. SROs are a safety implementation under the politically correct subterfuge of 'public relations.' Baby sitting students is not my idea of the role of law enforcement.
"There was a reason we did not have police officers in public schools when I grew up. We had leaders in our school system who demanded respect for students and teachers alike. Misfits were not tolerated to the detriment of a kid who was trying to get an education and better themselves. Many of these problem students today will be a number in our courtrooms tomorrow.
"Adding to the problems is that we have too many 'politically correct cowards' in our government today who refuse to stand up and demand that the right thing be done. Some of our schools in Hamilton County are in disciplinary shambles, and people in this community are starting to realize that.
"When students and teachers are assaulted, immediate investigations and certain prosecution and punishment should ensue in appropriate cases."
Judge Christie Sell said, "We have seen disrespect in our families and in our community, but our schools have traditionally been safe havens for our kids. Recent violence in our schools locally reflects the epidemic propositions of violence in our schools nationally.
"If this violence is not immediately checked, then we will be facing rampant violence in our schools and in our streets. Who would have imagined 20 years ago that kids and teachers would be murdered in our schools?
"Kids who are violent and cause trouble in our public schools usually go on to become criminal defendants in our courts. Safety in our schools should be a paramount concern to Dr. Scales and the board, and both should act immediately to implement stronger policies to ensure this."
The judges said they "will continue to press for safe schools and keep the issue at the forefront of public concern."