Cooper: Public needed reassurance it didn't get surrounding Ooltewah incident

Staff photo by Tim Barber The Hamilton County School Board Chairman Jonathan Welch, center, reads a prepared statement to an overflow crowd Wednesday night as School Superintendent Rick Smith, left, listens.
Scores of people came to the meeting of the Hamilton County Board of Education on Wednesday night because they wanted reassurance.

They wanted to hear from their school superintendent and their elected leaders everything they could legally say about an incident involving a freshman Ooltewah High School basketball player reportedly raped on a basketball trip last month.

They wanted to know what we want to know: If the school board and administration are reviewing policies and procedures about hazing, abuse, harassment and the like. They wanted to know if their children are safe at school, in the locker room, on a field trip or band competition.