• Mooreland Students Get Bikes
    For Perfect Attendance

    Posted by Josh Flory on 5/17/2019
    District Attorney General Charme Allen and KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas pose with students who achieved perfect attendance.
    District Attorney General Charme Allen, KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas and Mooreland Heights Principal Brandi Self pose with students who achieved perfect attendance.

    Charme Allen returned to Mooreland Heights Elementary School this week, fulfilling a promise and helping more than 30 students kick-start their summer.

    Last fall, Knox County’s District Attorney General had promised to give a free bike to every student who achieved perfect attendance between mid-September and the end of the year.

    On Thursday, 34 students were recognized for achieving that goal, receiving free bikes and helmets to go with them. The incentive helped boost the school’s perfect attendance rate by 70 percent this year.

    At an assembly in the gym, Allen -- the county’s top prosecutor -- thanked students for working so hard to be in class. She said studies show that students who stay in school and get good grades are less likely to get in trouble with the law.

    “It’s a whole lot more fun to be in school than it is to be in the criminal justice system,” she added.

    This is the fourth year that Allen’s office has offered the incentive to a school, as part of a broader initiative to reduce truancy in Knox County.

    KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas attended the giveaway, and said he was also proud of students who didn’t quite achieve perfect attendance, “because I know you tried.”

    Thomas told the assembly that Allen does a good job of keeping the community safe. While she often has to work with people who have made bad choices, Thomas said, “she’s here today to deal with folks who’ve made some good choices.”

    The cost of bikes for the program is covered by private donations to the DA’s community fund, and does not include any taxpayer money. The free helmets were provided by the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee.

    Third-grader Laurel Thompson was among the recipients, and said she was surprised to achieve perfect attendance.

    “I wasn’t really trying,” she explained. “I just went to school.”