Investigation Underway After Disturbance At Woodlawn Hills Youth Center

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Investigation Underway After Disturbance At Woodlawn Hills Youth Center

CREATED May 7, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An investigation has been launched following an incident reported at Woodland Hills Youth Development Center.

A group of teens had to be brought back inside after a disturbance just before 5 a.m. Wednesday. Officials said eleven kids in an area became agitated and started breaking out windows at the center, located on Stewarts Lane. 

Six of the teens got out into the yard, but police lined up at the gates to stop them from escaping.

“One of the young kids, who was in there, managed to kick his way through a window on his bedroom door that gave him access to the common area,” said DCS Spokesman Rob Johnson.

Another teenager apparently followed suit. They were able to access a switch in order to open 11 doors to other rooms inside the facility.

None of the teens had weapons and no one was hurt in the incident. 

The employees were able to talk to the teens and convince them to come back inside a short time later.

The disturbance brought back memories of other uprisings at the facility, including one from 10 years ago. In that incident, teens armed with broom handles and bricks tried to escape before the staff restored order.

There was also an escape three years ago, when two teens over-powered kitchen employees and drove a car through the metal perimeter and onto Interstate 40.

After such incidents, the state has to re-evaluate the center's security.

“Obviously, they've got to talk to staff. There's a lot of video to look at. They've got to decide if anybody will be charged. They've got to decide what they'll do differently next time,” said Johnson.

Woodland Hills is one of three DCS Youth Development Centers in Tennessee. It's a secure rehabilitation center for children ages 13 through 19 who have been charged with at least three felonies.

Officials said 94 kids are currently housed at the facility.