HomeNewsLocal mom taking steps to keep children safe in school

Local mom taking steps to keep children safe in school

Julie Holt is a realtor, local talk show radio host and is set to become a member of the Jackson City Council later this year, running unopposed for the seat representing District 9.

But last week when news of the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville that left six dead, including three children all 9 years old, she knew she had to do something.

“I kept asking myself, ‘How do I know my children are safe?’” Holt said.

She said that thinking really sparked when her own daughter – also 9 years old – heard about the shooting and asked Holt about the details of it.

“It was a hard conversation because she asked how many died, how old were they, why did this happen and all these questions that you never want to discuss with a 9-year-old on the way to softball practice,” Holt said. “And we can talk about what should be done or what needs to be done.

“And I don’t know if what I’m trying to do is necessarily the right thing to do. I still have some friends who are lawyers are looking into the legality of it. But at least it’s something.”

Holt posted on her Facebook page about her desire to look into paying armed guards to be outside every school in Madison County.

“Public, private, whatever … this is about making all the children who are in schools – and even daycares – safe,” Holt said. “And having a trained, stable person in front of a school from the time classes start until the children go home seems like a logical idea to me.”

Holt estimated she’s had about 20 friends who have said they’ll help pay for the services – whether it be an already-existing security firm or paying guards individually from some kind of fund.

“I’d love to do more than Madison County, but right now, I’ve got tunnel vision on my children and their school and keeping them safe as well as all the schools and daycares in the county and in Jackson,” Holt said.

Jackson-Madison County Schools have school resource officers present at all high schools and most middle schools.

“But if you think about it, where are the worst scenes with school shootings? Elementary schools,” Holt said. “Those schools are soft targets with no one there to defend them on campus at all times because SROs are meant to keep peace inside the school between students and teachers, but there’s no one on the outside keeping watch to make sure no one’s trying to get in that shouldn’t be.”

Holt said asking teachers to educate a class full of children while carrying a gun all day is too much to ask of them in their opinion.

“If they want to and are properly trained, good for them, but so many things can go wrong if a student somehow got a gun in their hands,” Holt said.

She said she’s had a couple of quick cursory conversations with some school leaders already to ask if they’re even open to the idea, and so far the response has been positive.

“If this is even a solution, I don’t know if it’s a long-term solution because there may be other ideas that I haven’t heard yet that someone else can put together and put in place in our schools,” Holt said. “But this latest shooting was so close to us, and there’s always copycat shooters.

“We as parents need to act quickly to keep our children safe in all our schools and daycares.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news



  1. As a parent, grandparent and armed security officer I agree this is a wonderful idea. It would protect our children as well as take some pressure off our already understaffed, over worked local police department.

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