“When are we next?”: Hamilton County School Board member hopes for more school security

Tiffanie Robinson: Changes implemented since 2018 have been very good, but more is needed

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Everytown for Gun Safety says there have been 77 gun incidents on school grounds this year, resulting in 14 deaths.

Then came yesterday at Uvalde, Texas.

19 children.

2 adults.


It sent shock waves throughout the U.S., and Hamilton County was no exception.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on the Senate floor: “What are we doing?”

Olivia Ibarra, whose son is principal at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX: “It’s just breaking my heart.”

Murphy: “Why are we here?”

Woman on Skype call: “This is devastating. Our community is devastated.”

Murphy asking again: “What are we doing?”

Parent of child at Robb Elementary: “It’s been hours of devastation, just waiting, and there’s no answers.”

18-year-old Salvador Ramos goes on a chaotic rampage at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, about 90 minutes outside San Antonio, leaving 19 children and two adults dead in his wake.

It touched lives here in Hamilton County, with one school board member, Tiffanie Robinson, who is also a parent, saying it hits very close to home.

“Every single time something like this happens in our country, it’s difficult not to think about ‘When are we next?’ And, I hate even saying that out loud. I really hate that I’m saying that out loud, but it’s really difficult as a parent to even wrap your head around what it would be like to send your child to school and to not get them back.”

Rikki Harris, the CEO of TN Voices, says, “Any time that there’s a traumatic event, I want to normalize that fear and anxiety will increase and it is OK not to be OK today.”

There have been 27 school shootings this year resulting in at least one death or injury.

A CBS News poll from last week says 54 percent of Americans want more strict gun sale legislation.

Here in Hamilton County, increased security measures have been in place since the Parkland shooting in Florida four years ago. Robinson says the changes have been good, but it still may not be enough. That means there’s only one thing left to change.

Robinson: “Gun laws are not right. And that’s just the case of it. And I’m not in a position to go change those laws, but I think, as a parent and a school board member, I think that my voice is pretty strong and I think that we’ve really go to encourage as many people as possible to really double down on pushing for our legislation to change.”

When asked about whether teachers should carry guns in schools, Robinson wasn’t sure that’s would solve things.

“I didn’t support it in 2018 because I don’t feel convinced that that’s the right solution to this problem. I’m worried that it would cause more problems in the classroom. If there is some place that implemented that policy and has a good case study for why we should consider it, I would absolutely read it and I would go back into reconsideration.”

The superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, Dr. Justin Robertson, issued a statement earlier saying it’s going to take all members of the community to bring about meaningful change.

He said the school system will “continue to use our resources and our voice to be a part of community-wide solutions to protect our children.”

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