I'm a student at SMMHS, and I would like to say that Tim may have gone to Signal Mountain predominately for the football team, but also for our academics.
Yes, we may not be helping every struggling student from a situation such as Tim, but at the same time, these students may not be asking for help. I went to a private school previous to going to Signal, and we had a Learning Center,a class teaching us how to study, and many other tools to help us learn how to succeed. Even though we don't have all of that at Signal, most of the teachers here are willing to stay after any day of the week to help a student in need. They even started their own "Learning Center" here at Signal for students who couldn't stay after because of bus schedules, and had a bus come here to get them.
Last year was the first year Signal allowed students from Howard and other schools to come up here and be a student, and many things happened last year that the principal probably had to fix so those mistakes would not be re-made. There were many fights, and many students who would get suspended. I had spoken to numerous students last year, who said the only reason they were here is they had nowhere else to go. A lot of these students had come up to Signal Mountain because they had been expelled or had problems at their old school, and they would disturb classrooms, cause fights, and this raised tension in the hallways.
This year, a many of these students have not been able to come back, and Signal is more careful of who is allowed to attend this school.We are a small community, and because we are so small, racial diversity tolerance can be a problem. And if we want to come together as a school, we need to have people who want to be here to be here.
If Tim McLendon had problems at his old school, regardless of how academically-challenging and funded it was, that is his business. Although Signal may have broken the rules, it is not something that is unheard of for any school to do. I know Tim personally, and he is a nice kid who wants to be here. And because of this story being everywhere, yes, he is more well known and praised than most students, but wouldn't that also mean that if Dr. McCullough were to ask him to leave Signal, it would only make matters worse?