Grundy County School Board member Kasey Anderson was arrested Monday for sending a text message that led to a lockdown of all Grundy County schools.
Grundy County schools went on a soft lockdown Monday morning after a student was reported to have a gun. Director of Schools Jessie Kinsey said in a statement that information was received but no school was specified.
“Information was reported to a principal that a gun was supposed to be brought to school today, but did not say which school. As a precaution, we are on lockdown until the Sheriff’s Department gives the all clear.”
The final all clear came before lunch, after students had been secured in classrooms with their teachers for hours while sheriff’s deputies ensured there were no guns at any of the schools.
Monday evening, Anderson was arrested for filing the false reports that led to the lockdown.
Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum said Anderson was “arrested for a text message that led to a soft lockdown Monday morning.”
Anderson took to social media on Monday evening proclaiming her innocence in a post to the Grundy County Advisory Committee page. She stated she was unsure what she was able to say without the advice of her attorney. But, she denied making any calls to report a gun on school property.
“Im unsure of what i can and cant say without talking to my attorney but i will say i DID NOT call and report anything about a kid and a gun to ANYONE.”
Her post further stated that, “I did send a text about my own personal concerns and fears…then i even made a phone call to a family member in order to clear the text up because a text can sound bad and not get the ‘tone or mood’ and are easily miscontruded.”
The details of the text message have not been released at press time. The Herald reached out to Anderson for a comment but had not heard back from her at press time.
Second time around
Anderson was arrested in June on the same charge, filing false reports, along with other charges. Chief Deputy Tony Bean made the following statement at the time of the arrest:
“On June 27, 2017, at 2:57 a.m., an unknown male caller called 911 dispatch and reported a domestic situation. The call was lost and dispatch pinged the phone because the caller once called back would not give his name and address.
“Upon pinging the phone, an address was obtained. Deputies responded to the residence in Pelham, and found evidence of a domestic situation that had occurred and encountered a female subject who became uncooperative. She was subsequently arrested for resisting arrest, public intoxication, indecent exposure, false reports, disorderly conduct, and coercion of a witness. She was transported to the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office.”
Anderson was also named as the defendant in a defamation suit filed in June, concerning Facebook posts made by her on the Grundy County Advisory Committee Facebook Page.
A future on the board?
The question of Anderson’s ability to remain a board member arose after her June arrest.
According to Tennessee School Boards Association Assistant Director of Policy Services and staff attorney Jennifer White, Anderson’s June arrest is not automatically grounds for removal from the board as she has been arrested but not convicted.
“For a board member to potentially be removed in a situation like this, the District Attorney would need to bring an action,” explains White. “TCA 8-47-101 does state that public intoxication is a potential reason for removal.”
The policy reads:
Every person holding any office of trust or profit, under and by virtue of any of the laws of the state, either state, county, or municipal, except such officers…in any public place be in a state of intoxication produced by strong drink voluntarily taken…shall be ousted from such office in the manner hereinafter provided.
“This statute, however, gives the district attorney the power to institute proceedings,” said White in June. “It is not automatic and not an action the board could take on its own.”
At press time, no statement was forthcoming from the TSBA and Anderson had not been removed from the school board.
Ed. note: All grammatical and spelling errors in the above reprinting of Anderson’s Facebook post are true to her post.