PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. — Emotions were high at the Prairie Grove school board meeting Friday night. Dozens of parents and teachers were angry and upset at the administration for “sweeping this under the rug."
“I feel completely unsupported and completely disrespected,” said Aubrey Crain, a 6th-grade teacher at Prairie Grove Middle school.
Teachers told 5NEWS that on Nov. 30 they attended a meeting where they were shown “a video that played somber music in a memorial style that said 'on December 14, 2022, a gunman entered Prairie Grove Middle School'... This many people were injured, and this many people were killed,” Crain recalled.
December 14 is the anniversary of the deadly Sandy Hook school shooting.
Teachers described the video as having pictures shown on the screen as if they and their children had died in the “foreshadowed school shooting."
“I am absolutely horrified to work for a district that would allow this,” Crain said.
5NEWS spoke with one parent who does not want her identity known, who says that her own children were “victims” shown in the video. She says witnessing it completely broke her.
“I feel like it took two of my greatest fears; my fear of losing a child and my fear of a school shooting, and put them together to terrorize me,” said a mother from Prairie Grove middle school.
Teachers told us the superintendent said the goal of the video was to "shock" them enough to scare teachers into closing their classroom doors at school.
“So, I feel like she used a terroristic method to try to get us to follow policy when we were already understanding fully how serious it was,” said a mother from Prairie Grove middle school.
At the meeting, school board members approved Prairie Grove Middle School principal Shayne Taylor taking a leave of absence for the remainder of the school year and a leave of absence for superintendent Reba Holmes who will then retire on June 30, 2023.
Crain says teachers aren’t given the tools to adequately follow the district’s safety protocols.
“The middle schools do not have night locks to safely lock our doors like the other buildings, the shades that cover the windows on our doors do not fully cover doors,” Crain said.
The future of the teachers at Prairie Grove Middle School is up in the air right now. Most teachers told 5NEWS at the meeting that they have plans to not attend school on December 14 because that was the date listed in the video.
5NEWS will update this story as more information becomes available.
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