Children in Wilson County Schools are being arrested at almost double the rate of only two years ago.
One of the most successful programs of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department is the very popular SRO or School Resource Officer Program. Every school now has armed deputies in the school providing security and law enforcement duties for both teachers and students.
Wilson County Sheriff’s Department arrests and citations in schools for students possessing drugs has increased from 32 in the 2014/15 year to 60 in the 2016/17 year for drug offenses.
Deputy Scott Moore is in charge of the SRO program for the Sheriff’s Department under the authority of Sheriff Robert Bryan. Deputy Moore stated to local news “A lot of kids don’t realize, and a lot of parents don’t realize, that everything is subject to search by school administration.” Deputy Moore points to the increase in searches of student’s personal items and their persons as what has led to the doubling in the number of student arrests and citations for drug offenses in Wilson County and Lebanon schools over the last three years. He went on to say that a child with pills they don’t have a prescription for will sometimes become so scared of an impending search that they will take all the pills at once which results in a life-threatening situation,“so we have to get them medical attention”. The Lebanon Democrat article stated that most of the students given citations or arrested were high school age, but a significant number were in middle school.
(WILSON COUNTY/LEBANON SCHOOLS)
(Source: Wilson Co. Sheriff’s Office)
A juvenile found guilty of possession of drugs generally faces three possible penalties in Tennessee: Mandatory Drug Counseling; Probation; or Detention (usually reserved for repeat offenders or if the drug possession is combined with robbery or a violent crime).
A child with a drug charge on their record can be excluded from school sports and activities, denied college scholarships and even entry into college, and could be prevented from serving in the armed forces.