Police power surprises parents

photo Chattanooga police

At the end of a mostly mundane meeting of the Hamilton County Council of Parent Teacher Associations recently, President Dwight Hunter read a question to the five members present in a nearly empty room.

"If a principal agrees to allow a law enforcement officer to interrogate -- notice the word 'interrogate' there, and it doesn't give an age -- a student at school of an unrelated crime committed outside the school hours, must the principal first notify the child's parents?" Hunter asked.

As he read and commented on the question from the sheet in his hand, PTA member Katherine Smith and the other officers around the table nodded their heads, certain that the principal must call a parent.