4th-grader in Tennessee writes letter to sheriff asking for more school security
ABC News(CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn.) — As the nation continues to deal with the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, one elementary school student in Tennessee is pleading for action.
Abigail Daniels, a fourth-grade student at Tazewell-New Tazewell elementary school, wrote the Claiborne County sheriff a letter asking for additional protection at her school.
“Dear Mr. Sheriff, I’ve heard about the school shootings, and I’ve felt sad and scared. Please, I am begging you, please let us have more protection at our schools. I don’t want anyone coming into our schools and hurting kids,” Daniels wrote in the letter.
Deonna Daniels, Abigail’s mom, said the family was watching news coverage of the shooting when her daughter came up with the idea.
“It’s heartbreaking to see her thinking about that at her age,” the mom told ABC News. “She said she wanted to write a letter and I told her as long as she was polite that it was OK.”
The 9-year-old also asked the sheriff for security officers at her school along with better doors and windows for the school’s buildings.
Sheriff David Ray said he was surprised to get the letter but disgraced by the idea of kids not feeling safe in their schools.
“I was teary-eyed. I almost cried,” Ray told ABC News.
He posted a message to Abigail on the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Facebook page on Feb. 16, thanking her for the letter. He also reassured her that police officers already monitor students at her school.
“Hopefully, one day we can place a police officer in every school to make it safer for you and others,” Ray wrote in the Facebook post.
Only three schools out of the 12 in Claiborne County have full-time security officers, according to ABC affiliate WATE-TV. Officers patrol the schools during their shifts in the day, and there are precautions in place in the event of an active school shooter, according to Ray. However, he says, he wants to implement more security measures, such as adding a security officer to every school in the county.
There have been no threats on Claiborne County schools, Ray said, but for safety measures, there were officers posted at the school last week after the shooting in Florida.
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