NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro school officials met with Napier Elementary School and Antioch High School parents Wednesday night to address concerns surrounding the arrest of a music teacher.
Jarrett Jones, 30, is accused of secretly recording little girls while they undressed at Napier between 2011 and 2015, and Antioch is where he taught until he was suspended on Sept. 9 this year.
Metro Nashville Public School officials held the meetings so parents could voice concerns and ask questions about the arrest and their children.
The first meeting was held at Napier where about 25 parents came and spoke to Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade, who is prosecuting the case; Nashville Children’s Alliance, who interviewed the victims at the police department’s request; and school officials.
News 2 did not tape the meeting in order to protect the privacy of the parents and students inside. However, we were allowed to take notes.
Parent Jameka Usher spoke to News 2 afterward. She said Jones taught her children at Napier.
“The monster that was arrested actually taught three of my children,” she explained. “I don’t blame the school, but I want to know what’s going to happen moving forward so my children are safe.”
One of the questions Usher asked was about students undressing inside the school. Jones allegedly had his female students undress and change into costumes for plays and practice.
They changed in a closet where Jones had a secret recording device.
Napier’s principal said it’s not typical for students to undress while at school, not even for gym. The only time would be if a student had an accident.
Metro Schools spokesman Joe Bass highlighted the principal’s comments, saying, “You heard the principal say it’s not standard practice at the school for children to have to undress in that way.”
The school says it was unaware Jones was asking his students to do that.
Mother-of-three Usher also asked about how the potential victims were questioned.
Metro police said at least 40 girls were questioned at their respective schools on Monday before their parents were notified.
Assistant DA Meade admitted that it is not typical protocol to interview a child at school and without parental notification.
However, it’s not against the law to do so, and because of the size and scope of the investigation, it was necessary to do the interviews quickly.
“I’m glad they arrested Mr. Jones quickly,” said Usher. “And I do understand what she was saying, but at the same time, I have to go back to me being a parent. I don’t think that’s proper protocol.”
Bass says Metro Schools were as shocked as the parents by the allegations against Jones.
Officials hope that the school district and parents can work on rebuilding their relationship.
“There are no words that can make this better,” said Bass. “But talking about it and learning about it and connecting parents to resources will hopefully help build a road to recovery and build trust in the school.”
Metro Schools have crisis intervention teams on hand to help students at Napier and at Antioch High School, where Jones had been just hired full-time.
There is no indication that Jones did any videotaping at the high school.