Letter: Time for immediate action at new middle school site

Time for immediate action at new middle school site

I am very proud of the amazing new North Whitfield Middle School which we consider part of the Varnell community. We are also proud of all the students, teachers, administrators and school resource officers who build and support that community.

Unfortunately, we have experienced a tragic accident in front of the school this week just 28 school days since it opened, which has resulted in the death of student Lucas Welch-Stringfield, and serious injury to two other students.

While I do not claim to speak for everyone, I believe it is fair to say there are many teachers and parents who were concerned with the traffic flow into and out of the school. Our Whitfield County Sheriff's Office along with members of our local police department did yeoman's work as always to keep everyone as safe as possible, but unfortunately they were dealt a difficult hand.

Accidents are going to happen, regardless of actions taken, but in this case the inevitable happened this week without any basic safety measures on the roads themselves. There are no school zone signs, no reduced speed and no yellow flashing caution light.

While clearly not empowered to do so officially, l would like to call for immediate and effective action by the appropriate state and county departments and individuals to make changes at North Whitfield Middle School to dramatically reduce the risk of a similar incident. We need leadership, action and results to reduce the risk of this happening again.

Thank you, and thoughts and prayers to those involved in the accident, the officers and first responders on the scene, and the entire North Whitfield Middle School community who are hurting desperately.

Please note that this does not represent the official opinion of the city of Varnell, simply that of a concerned citizen. I proudly serve on the city council, but this is my opinion.

Bob Roche


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