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presstalk 671-TALK

• I was commenting about the lady who was upset about the First Baptist [Concord] and how rude they are [Aug. 18 presstalk], and I couldn’t agree with her more. They have sheriff’s deputies out there stopping traffic so their kids can be dropped off at school in a timely manner. And when I asked the sheriff’s deputy why they did that, I said, “my son’s going to be late for school because of this,” and she said, “well, you just need to leave home earlier.” So, I have no respect whatsoever for the First Baptist [Concord] because they’re taking over the whole community — and they’re special.

Editor’s Note: Shouldn’t the school at First Baptist Concord be granted a school zone sign since it is on Kingston Pike? In that case, traffic would be slowed as for the schools on Campbell Station and Grigsby Chapel roads.

• My call is regarding the overcrowding problem at Farragut Intermediate School. My daughter started third grade this year at Farragut Intermediate by being placed in a music room, not a classroom, with 50 other students — with no schoolbooks — and was told she would be moving to a portable classroom in approximately two months. The playground was so overcrowded, the children could not play on the equipment. And with all the overcrowding, four staff positions were taken out of the school budget this year. After talking with the principal and the teachers, we were told their hands were tied when dealing with these problems, and that they had informed the county commissioners months ago about these problems and nothing was done. Mike [Hammond], John Griess and Craig Leuthold are elected as our county commissioners [District 5] to represent the children of this county, and they are obviously not doing that. My daughter is now in private school until these problems can be resolved. I only hope these problems will be addressed before more of our children suffer. Our children deserve better.

• Yes, I’d like to know since they’ve announced that they’ll not have the high school done — it’s been postponed for another year [projected fall 2008], what do they plan to do about the overcrowding of the bus situation? My primary schooler lives three-and-a-half miles away from his primary school, but yet his bus must pick him up at 6:50 a.m. even though his school starts at 7:45 a.m. I’d like to know why it takes the buses 55 minutes to get my son three-and-a-half miles? And why they have to crowd all these children onto these buses? I believe it’s a dangerous situation and I believe that Knox County Schools, and particularly the bus drivers, are not taking this very seriously, are not complaining. And even the parents need to start speaking up and demanding that we have less crowded buses.

• I wish to report serious safety concerns, i.e., overcrowding and occupation of students’ seats by unauthorized guests of the drivers of school buses. Not only are students sitting three to the seat and required to stand in aisles, but they are being left behind at origin points due to overloading of school buses. This ongoing problem requires students to phone parents to come to schools to pick them up. We need for our public officials to also consider overflowing of neighborhood populations. And they are also alerted to rising fuel prices that will force even more riders onto the school buses.


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