Student suicide inspires school board member to plead for unity

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – After several days of debates over teacher raises…a school board member appeared before the Hamilton county commission this morning to ask that they work together.

School board member Tiffanie Robinson told commissioners that she was inspired to come to the meeting by reports of a 4th grade child who may have taken his own life.

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Robinson’s goal was to stop the bickering after a group of teachers and former teachers called out 5 commissioners for failing to support a referendum for a 60 dollar per car wheel tax.

The money would have been earmarked for teacher raises.

“How did we get to this point? Where 4th graders feel like they have to take their own life? That’s not on you and that’s not on me, ok? But as a community what that makes me feel, is that we have have real problems in this community. There are parts of our community that are sick, and we have got to figure out how to heal them.”

Robinson suggested that the Commission and School Board have meetings to try to get past their differences.

Commissioner Chip Baker said that as the chair of the Education Committee, he had scheduled two meetings between the Commission and the School board, but the School Board had cancelled both meetings.

The new chair of the Education Committee is Commissioner David Sharpe, who said he would make sure the two do meet together soon.

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