NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More than 30 teachers and staff have left one Nashville middle school between last August and now.
A spokesperson for the Metro Nashville Public School System said some left Oliver Middle School due to issues with the administration as well as the climate of the school.
“I loved it,” said Jenny Broeder. “I loved my time there until that last year.”
After 13 years, Broeder made the decision to leave Oliver Middle School.
“I spent probably 90% of my adult life there,” she said. “Somewhere that I loved, somewhere that I poured my blood, sweat and tears into, and to not be comfortable to go back there now is sad.
The former 5th and 6th grade teacher said the leadership is what finally pushed her out the door.
“It was very difficult to communicate with them, to receive communication back that seemed disrespectful at times,” said Broeder.
In April an eighth grader was arrested after bringing a gun to school. Broeder had left by then but said many of her former colleagues were not happy with the current administration’s response to this incident.
“I sat with so many of my friends at dinner while they cried about it, and it’s just so scary to me, and to hear the district truly try to cover it up is what it sounds like is heartbreaking,” she said.
Amity Marsh’s son attends the school and said this, along with the school’s response to bullying, has been some of her biggest concerns.
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“MNPS claims that they don’t put up with the bullying, but our son continued coming home telling us about other instances when it occurred even towards the end of the year,” she said.
Marsh said she and some other parents and teachers want new leadership, but according to the school district, that won’t be happening.
MNPS said Principal Hawaya Wilson will continue to serve for the upcoming school year.
The district said their division of schools has been working closely with Wilson to address concerns and provide additional support as needed to ensure the best possible path forward into the new school year.
While Broeder said she would not return unless new leadership comes in, she’s hoping things will get better for those still employed there.
“I’m going to hold out hope,” she said. “I’m going to continue praying for everyone there and I hope to see some changes.”
MNPS said it did hold a parent meeting last week that was designed to take the feedback received over the previous weeks and months from staff and parents and show the steps being taken to address them, followed by questions and answers.
Broeder and Marsh said they, along with other teachers and parents, were disappointed in how that meeting turned out.
As of now, there are no additional community meetings scheduled at this time, according to MNPS.
The school district says as of now they have four vacancies currently with three candidates having received recommendations for hire.
Marsh said the community will be holding another meeting to discuss issues surrounding Oliver Middle School Thursday, July 21. The meeting will take place at Tusculum Church of Christ at 6:30 p.m.