Harming the Environment and Wasting Tax Dollars!

Yesterday, I went hiking with my three boys (8, 5, 1). Since we had the youngest with us we took the Bob stroller and hit it off into the trails around then local highschool. This is the same area where we found Moss Man last fall. I had thought about writing a post about Moss Man but perhaps I’ll just share the video.

No, we didn’t make said Moss Man and we don’t know who did. We just walked through the woods and found him.


Anyways, Moss Man is on the shorter loop (a mile to a mile and a half) which is the route we usually take (the kids do better on shorter hikes). Yesterday I let the boys pick which route we would take and they picked the long loop (about 3-5 miles). ┬áThese loops are around the highschool for the Town of Signal Mountain. The trails are located on what’s called Shackleford Ridge and they link in to the Cumberland trail system which links into the Appalachian trail. So, a few wrong turns and you’re on your way from Tennessee to Canada (after 6 months of living on the trail…).

The cool thing about these particular loops that we hike on (at least if you have kids) is that they go around the highschool, middle school, elementary school and the associated sports facilities (4 soccer fields, 3 baseball fields, and two football fields) plus the student and staff parking. ┬áThis is great if you’re hiking with kids and may possibly need to find a shortcut back to civilization if a child gets exhausted and wants to call it quits.

Surprise, surprise, the 5 year old for exhausted and on this particular hike we were on the opposite end on the trail system. We found a quick exit to the road and then cut across the baseball fields, through the student parking then the staff parking. Finally, we had to go around the school building itself. There are two ways to go the short way (through grass) or the long way (on the road around the school).

You guessed it we took the grass by this time it is about 5:30 PM and school has been out for about 2 hours. The grass is beautifully landscaped and we turned a corner and low and behold there is a ground level window….wide open. My first thought, probably from 10 years in law enforcement, was wow that’s not very secure…instantly I thought of people climbing in the window and either vandalizing the place or stealing whatever they could grab.

Now, I’ve mentioned in other posts that I have recently completed a M.S. in Environmental Science and as a result my kids and I frequently talk about environmental topics. My oldest son’s first thought (and my second thought) was wow that’s wasting a lot of electricity. This lights appeared to be off in the classroom and the window wide open. We looked around the building a bit more and located two additional windows (these on the second floor). That were also connected to apparently empty classrooms and wide open.

The bottom line is that teachers should be role models for ideal behavior for kids. They should be concerned about safe practices that secure the building and they should do environmentally sound in classroom practices. I hope this was just an isolated incident at my local school and not a national environmental plague and an unnexessary waste of tax dollars. We hike frequently at this location so I plan to pay more careful attention in the future. Hopefully this was an isolated incident but if not I will likely we writing a letter to the board of education. I did not manage to get photos of this event but I will try to remember to next time (if there is a next time).