Franklin High School (Photo: Williamson County Schools)

Editor’s Column: In Williamson County’s underbelly, everything old is new again

BY: - August 25, 2021

Recently, a recording of a Williamson County School Board meeting went viral after anti-mask parents mobbed physicians after the meeting, screaming at the doctors and threatening them.  National news outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, the New York Times and Esquire, covered the disgraceful incident and many locals shared their feelings of distress on social […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Some schools are leaving contact tracing to health officials

BY: - August 24, 2021

Last year when its schools reopened for in-person learning in February, Sumner County public school staff and nurses took the lead in contact tracing — reaching out to students, teachers, parents and staff to inform them of close contacts on school buses and in classrooms with COVID-positive or symptomatic individuals. This year the Middle Tennessee […]

A woman winces as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine during a pop-up clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in South Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Vaccination rates of Tennessee youth among the lowest in the nation

BY: - August 18, 2021

In Sullivan County, where COVID cases have tripled in the past two weeks, the local health department’s medical director has started to see a slight but notable shift among the attitudes of parents whose children are old enough to get a vaccine. Public schools have been back in session for just over a week, and […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor warns school districts to follow new mask opt-out order

BY: - August 17, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally threatened Tuesday to take “remedial options” against school systems that refuse to follow the governor’s order allowing parents to opt students out of mask requirements. “I am extremely appalled and alarmed at the response to Gov. Lee’s executive order from Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County Schools. This order was […]

In Nashville last December, parents urging a return to in-person classes staged a protest at Metro Nashville Schools office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

School boards across state take heat from parents on masks

BY: - August 16, 2021

Beth Simpson, a mother of five who sits on the Johnson City school board, laid out two stacks of printouts for dramatic effect, one to her right and one on her left, as she addressed an audience of parents growing increasingly impatient on Friday night.  “Most people are here because of masks,” Simpson said. “That’s […]

Twins Marshall and Charlie Groves prepare for school at Nashville's Lakeland Design Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Parents and teachers fearful for students returning to school

BY: - August 11, 2021

As a parent of a child with a disability, Hanna Morgan Lewis begins each school year by having doctors fill out comprehensive seizure and medical forms, as required by the Williamson County Public Schools. School officials require her son’s medical issues be planned for in advance in case of emergencies and to avoid liability issues, […]

Sexton crusade for special session clashes with physician requests

BY: - August 10, 2021

House Speaker Cameron Sexton is asking the governor to call a special session to clamp down on school systems with mask mandates, even as Middle Tennessee physicians seek school district mask requirements. Sexton, a Crossville Republican, was working with House members Tuesday on a letter draft to Gov. Bill Lee requesting a special session. Members […]

See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing: children will bear the brunt of the state's mishandling of the COVID crisis. (Photo illustration: John Partipilo)

Williamson county pediatricians push for mask mandates in schools

BY: - August 10, 2021

As Williamson County parents, physicians urged school officials to prevent the possibility of “needless” deaths of children from COVID-19  by mandating masks. On Monday, several physicians called on Williamson County Public School Board members, private school administrators and elected officials to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for all children returning to […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a July press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo))

Governor knocks Shelby Health Board for public/private schools mask mandate

BY: - August 9, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee criticized the Shelby County Health Board on Monday for mandating masks in public and private schools, saying the decision should be up to parents, if not school boards. “I think Shelby County handled that the wrong way. I think school districts in this state are the ones that have been given the […]

See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing: children will bear the brunt of the state's mishandling of the COVID crisis. (Photo illustration: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Our children will bear the brunt of state’s mishandling of COVID-19 crisis

BY: - August 9, 2021

As a teacher, I can pinpoint distinct feelings associated with each part of the year.  The obvious excitement of the end of the school year in late spring with students wrapping up exams and desks being pushed to the perimeter of the room for the annual waxing of the floor over the summer.  The tired, […]

In December, a group of parents rallied in Nashville to get their kids back in the classroom. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Metro Public Schools director backs mask mandate despite House speaker’s threat

BY: - August 4, 2021

Two days after the state House speaker threatened districts that require students to wear masks, Metro Nashville Public Schools’ director is backing a mask mandate for students indoors and on buses. Director Adrienne Battle said Wednesday she is making the push because of the “alarming rise” in COVID-19 cases and the Delta variant spread, as […]

On Monday, Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton said he'll propose a school voucher program if school systems don't conduct class in person and maskless in the coming academic year. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Davidson delegation mask request puts Metro on crash course with House speaker

BY: - August 3, 2021

Hours before House Speaker Cameron Sexton threatened to seek a special session targeting school districts over COVID-19 policies, the Davidson County delegation made a push for Metro Nashville Public Schools to mandate masks for students this year. The delegation sent a letter written by Rep. John Ray Clemmons to Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Adrienne […]