President Obama's Visit Not Open To The Public
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - President Obama's visit to McGavock High School Thursday is not open to the public. Metro Schools are working with various agencies, including the Secret Service, to organize the invite-only event that will include students and Nashville's elected officials.
"This is not a public event," Tony Majors, Metro Schools Assistant Superintendent of Student Services said. "So parents are not allowed to attend. This is for the students."
Not every student will be able to hear the President speak. Majors said it's logistically impossible, but a selective group students will make up a majority of the crowd. Still everyone at McGavock will be subject to extra security measures.
Metro Schools is implementing what they learned from Mrs. Obama's visit last year.
"I think one thing that we learned from Mrs. Obama's visit is that from the school system side when it comes to ticketing we have to be very scripted and very detailed," Majors added.
The First Lady was the Commencement speaker at Martin Luther King Magnet's graduation where Shunn Turner was the Principal.
"You could hear her limo pull up and… (there was) excitement and the buzz in the room," Turner vividly remembered. "And you turn the corner and she's really there."
Months later Turner said the official picture, a thank you note from the First Lady and a White House Christmas card continue to make the whole experience feel like it happened yesterday.
"So at this point I'm numb because I'm standing beside the first lady," Turner says while looking at a picture. "The message really to me was that this matters to other people especially the people in top places."
Turner can easily imagine how McGavock High School's Principal Robbin Wall feels as he prepares to welcome the President. Turner has this advice for him.
"I would say really enjoy the recognition for his hard work, for his students (and) for his school."
Nearly 120 Metro Nashville Police officers will assist the Secret Service with security requirements for Thursday's visit. The Metro police personnel will consist in large part of Traffic and Flex officers from various precincts who will spend their regular shifts Thursday on the presidential assignment.
Drivers need to be aware that the president's travels will cause brief closures of roadways between Nashville International Airport and McGavock High School between midafternoon Thursday into the start of rush hour.