Nearly two-thirds of polled teachers at two Metro high schools don’t believe their school environments are safe, according to a recently conducted survey by the Tennessee Department of Education.
More than 57,000 educators statewide took park in the TELL Tennessee survey, billed as the first statewide opportunity for teachers and faculty to provide input on a host of educational issues. The state released 2011 results earlier this month.
Teachers were asked to rate how strongly they agree or disagree on a series of matters including the statement, “The faculty work in a school environment that is safe,” which fell under the poll category “Managing Student Conduct.”
On this question, only 35.6 percent of Hillsboro High School teachers and 37.7 percent of Cane Ridge High School teachers responded that they agree the faculty works in a safe school environment, putting both schools in unique and alarming territory when looking at other results.
Among all Davidson County teachers, 89.5 percent of teachers agreed that they work in a safe school environment. The Metro high schools with the most positive responses were Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, where 100 percent of teachers said the environment is safe, and at Hillwood High School, where 98.8 percent did.
Across the state, 94.3 percent of teachers say they work in a safe environment.
The City Paper could not reach Hillsboro principal Terry Shrader or Cane Ridge principal Michel Sanchez-Wall for comment.
Metro schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown said she did not know the root causes behind Hillsboro and Cane Ridge’s percentages, stressing that school administrators are conducting a detailed review of the survey’s results and looking for opportunities for improvement.
“They will consider such questions as what factors may have influenced the results, what percentage responded, etc.,” Brown said in an email. “ Both of these schools are considered to be safe.”
Results at Hillsboro could stem partially from last fall when three students died outside the school during a brief time frame, leading in November to false rumors of a lockdown and a gun at the school. The incident, well documented by media, frazzled some in the Hillsboro community.
Cane Ridge, which opened only a few years ago, lacks a singular incident.
Sixty percent of all teachers at Hillsboro took part in the poll, with 52 percent of Cane Ridge teachers responding to the poll.
TELL Tennessee survey results are viewable at www.telltennessee.org
The percentage of teachers who said their environment is safe at each Metro high school breaks down as follows:
Antioch High School — 85.9 percent
Cane Ridge High School — 37.7 percent
East Literature Magnet High School — 98.6 percent
Glencliff High School — 96.9 percent
Hillsboro High School — 35.6 percent
Hillwood High School — 98.8 percent
Hume-Fogg Magnet High School — 100 percent
Hunters Lane High School — 81.5 percent
Maplewood High School — 58.9 percent
Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School — 96.6 percent
McGavock High School — 94 percent
Overton High School — 90.8 percent
Pearl-Cohn High School — 94.3 percent
Stratford High School — 70.6 percent
Whites Creek High School — 73.7 percent