East Ridge High School students on Friday held a protest gathering in the school ffootball stadium regarding an incident involving the school SRO and an 18-year-old student.
The SRO, Tyler McRae, is requesting a transfer back to patrol.
His attorney, Jerry Tidwell, said, "It is a very telling thing a police officer would rather go back on the street than work in one of our high schools."
A 15-second video showing the SRO dragging the student by his hair was featuring in the news and on social media.
Then the sheriff's office released the full video of the incident.
Hamilton County Schools released the following statement about the incident: "The Hamilton County Schools community believes in the importance of safe and supportive environments as critical to seeing all students thrive and experience a future without limits. Earlier this year, our community held firm to this belief to fully fund a safety officer in every building in Hamilton County Schools (HCS).
"With this commitment comes the opportunity to confirm the shared beliefs of the school system and the Sheriff’s Office in the service to the children of our community.
"This week, an incident at East Ridge High School resulted in questions and concerns from the community, and inside our district, about how we are putting our beliefs and commitments into action and their implications for our students. While there is still work to be done to gather all information about this week’s incident, our leadership is taking steps based on what we already know.
- We are reviewing our policies, procedures, and training concerning the roles and responsibilities of administrators and security officers in our schools.
- We are working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that we put students first as we work to keep our schools safe while treating all students with dignity and respect.
- We are providing clear and firm guidance to schools and law enforcement regarding our shared beliefs, commitments, shared protocols for engagement, and a continuous improvement process to foster student-centered relationships that support the safety and well-being of all HCS children.
"As we move forward in this process, we are committed to learning and growing as we improve our shared responsibilities with law enforcement.
"Earlier today, we heard from the students at East Ridge High School during a peaceful and respectful student-led demonstration in the school’s football stadium. Just as we listen to the concerns and thoughts from our community, it is important that we also hear the voices of those in our classrooms who are directly affected by our actions. We appreciate our students’ willingness to be a part of this conversation, and we value their input.
"Providing a learning environment where all children feel safe, valued and supported is a shared responsibility. The information we learn from this week’s events, and the input we receive from those who add their voices to this discussion, will better inform us as we work internally, with our partners, and with our stakeholders to continue ensuring that all our children are well. We look
forward to working with all who are part of this important conversation."