This shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise to people who have been somewhat keeping up on news and court rulings about parental rights. There are some pretty alarming precedents that have been set.
While I understand that not everyone can home school their children, it must certainly be weighty decision now.
By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter
CROSSVILLE (WATE) – A Cumberland County father didn’t want to wait in a long line of traffic to pick his kids up from school. That led to a series of encounters last week at South Cumberland Elementary, and now the dad’s facing charges.
“I’m going to call some help down here and we’re going to take you up to the jail right now. I’m not putting up with this today. You’re being childish and it’s uncalled for,” Sheriff Deputy and School Resource Officer Avery Aytes said in the YouTube video.
The video goes on to show the dad arguing with the school security officer over state law, then the dad winds up in handcuffs.
“I’m not raising my voice, I’m not confrontational, I want my kids,” Jim Howe said in the YouTube video.
The video was taken by Amanda Long Thursday afternoon as she and her fiance, Jim Howe, were trying to pick up Howe’s two children from school. It shows Howe arguing with Deputy Aytes.
Howe says, because of a new policy that started last week, the only way parents can get their children after 2 p.m. is to wait in a line of cars until everyone is released at 2:35. He says not only is this time consuming, it’s illegal.
“You don’t need a reason as a parent to go get your children. They are our children,” Howe said.
As the video shows, Howe was arrested by Aytes for disorderly conduct. Deputy Aytes tells 6 News he’s unable to comment because this is an open case. Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess says he hasn’t seen the video and doesn’t need to, because it won’t tell the whole story. He says Aytes was just doing his job.
“The resource officers are there to enforce the law,” Burgess said.
The sheriff says he agrees with Howe on principle. Both men say the new policy is creating safety concerns, mainly because there is line of cars that along the highway outside of the school. Burgess says parents should take any policy concerns to those in charge of the policy, not the school resource officer.
“On the other hand, the school system needs to realize you can’t make a black and white law,” Burgess said.
“If not for policy, we would have chaos, and we don’t need chaos at the schools, but we also don’t need an over zealous deputy setting an example in front of kids,” Howe said.
We were unable to get in contact with school officials for comment on the issue. The sheriff says he’s reviewing the system and will make recommendations this week as to what changes should be made to ensure student safety.