A Lebanon school is seeing double many times over.
Castle Heights Elementary has multiple sets of twins.
“We got some boy-girl twins. We got some identical twins. We have some fraternal twins,” said Principal Terry Trice.
The school has more than double the usual duos.
Among 600 students, there are 15 sets of twins. Eight of those are in the first grade.
“Two years ago when they were registering for kindergarten, [it] seemed like every other person that come up was a twin,” Trice said.
“I've been teaching for 15 years and I have never seen more than one or two sets in a school,” added Guidance Counselor Laura Cromer.
Nashville's News 2 tried to wrangle the teams of two for a little double talk.
The most popular topic was age.
“He's two minutes older than me,” Aris Gonzales said of her twin Isaiah.
“I'm five minutes older,” Samantha Mosley bragged of her life experience over brother Sawyer.
“I'm ten minutes older,” Reed Daley said of his age over fraternal twin Ethan.
The siblings talked about what they liked and what they didn't like about being a twin.
“Sometimes we have tickle fights,” Bobby Harris said of he and his identical twin brother Johnny.
“We joke people and they get mixed up with us and we don't like it,” admitted Hannah and Layla Covington, also identical.
Despite wearing matching clothes for our interview, third-graders Mindy and Mandy Jones and Abbey and Harlie Nehus said they don't always dress alike and prefer their clothing be different.
Hannah and Hailey Evetts, fourth-graders, didn't agree on whether they liked being a twin.
Hannah said, “No [because] when I'm in a good mood and she's in a bad mood, she'll yell at me for no reason sometimes.”
Hailey said, “Yes, [because] I just like that she can help me with my homework if I don't know it.”
Both smiled about their answers.
Isaiah Gonzales was shy in front of our cameras, but his twin sister spoke proudly of their special bond.
“We usually like to play each other,” she said. “We feel like best friends almost all the time.”
Other twins were in sync on why being a twin isn't always double the fun.
“Sometimes I ask for a piggyback ride,” said first-grader Samantha Sawyer. “And I usually don't give it to her. I just dump her off my back,” finished brother Sawyer Mosley.
“He'll say that I'm not listening in class if I have any homework,” said fifth-grader Lora Smith. Her brother quickly followed, “Because, I mean, it's easy stuff.”
The twins cover nearly every grade level from kindergarten to fifth grade.
The youngest set is Bobby and Johnny Harris, six-year-old identical twins.
When asked to spell their last name, they replied in unison with heads swaying , “H-A-R-R-I-S.”
The chatty, smiley pair admitted that teachers and even parents can't often tell them apart.
“One [time my mom],” Johnny stumbled, “she said, 'Hey, Bobby!' But I wasn't Bobby. I was Johnny.”
When asked if he confused his mom on purpose, he only laughed.
Cromer is not surprised by the confusion.
“It's very hard to tell who is who,” she said. “I'll call 'em by their last name most of the time.”
The twins are described as goofy with each other and protective of each other.
School leaders usually suggest the twins be separated into different classrooms to keep the dominant twin from being overbearing and to allow the non-dominant twin to find individual strengths and personalities.
“We always let the parents decide. They know their kids better than any of us,” said Cromer. “[But] the parents will usually come back and thank us for suggesting that.”
Castle Heights Elementary is part of the Lebanon Special Schools District. The school's twin numbers are a phenomenon.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, the number of twin births in the United States was 408,439. The likelihood of having a twin is only three percent.
Compare the statistics to those at Castle Heights, where five percent of the school's student body is a twin. One in five first graders are a twin.
That's 15 pairs, uniquely the same and uniquely different.