NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Leaders with Metro Schools are looking for safety ambassadors for elementary schools.
If you're hired, you'll help out with safety drills and respond to safety concerns inside the schools.
"If you have experience as a former police officer or security official that’s great. We are looking for people with experience. Just someone with a real passion for students and school safety are the type of people we want to come apply," MNPS spokesperson Sean Braisted said.
Parent Michael Durham has two kids at a Metro Elementary School, and he hasn’t been thrilled with Metro schools' updated safety plans this school year.
"The fact that they are recruiting retired law enforcement they still perceive safety to be a matter of law enforcement policing and not addressing root issues that leads to violent behavior," Durham said. I trust the intentions of those trying to increase police presence in schools, but I know the data and pay attention to what’s happening across the country in movements for safety. We know police do not provide safety and protect students in schools."
As of now, most middle and high schools have full-time SROs. An officer is assigned to the elementary schools in the morning and may occasionally stop by throughout the day.
Durham doesn’t like guns present in schools.
“I’m concerned how students particularly Black and brown in our schools feel when they showed up when there’s a firearm presence," Durham said.
He's more on board with the Safety Ambassador program since it’s an unarmed position.
"I like the idea that teachers won’t be responsible for coordinating school fire and active shooter drills. That’s not their job. We want teachers to focus on students," Durham explained.
NewsChannel 5 spoke with teachers off-camera about the program. They wonder how the district will hire over 70 people when they’re struggling to fill other staffing and teacher positions.
"We may not get to 70 right away. It may take us a while to get there. The difference between some of the positions you mention is this is a full-time job with the school. Substitutes are at will and pick up hours as they choose," Braisted said.
Durham thinks the district should focus their energy on hiring more social workers and behavioral specialists but thinks an ambassador could be beneficial.
The district will host a hiring event Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the MNPS Wellness Center. The district said the starting wage for the job is $18.58. You can potentially get more if you have more experience.
You can learn more here.