Looking Back: New Vocational School Caused Problems for Students at Start of 1976-1977 School Year

November 19, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains summaries of articles from past issues of The Central Digest. On occasion, the Digest will look back into our archives to see what was happening around Central High in the past

New Vocational School Affects Central’s Start Time and Reduces Offered Courses

September 1976

The opening of the Harrison Bay Vocational School caused several problems for Central during its 1976-1977 school year. The new vocational school forced Central to change its previous starting time of 9:00 to 7:25. Many students complained about the drive to school, for they got caught up in the daily working commute. The school also limited Central’s vocational classes on campus. The decline in vocational courses also caused an increase in overcrowded study halls.

As Child Abuse Increases, Many Children are Killed and Injured Yearly

November 1976

Chattanooga citizens were shocked after a four-year-old child in Cleveland passed away as a result of abuse. The tragedy opened the eyes of everyone in the area, as they realized how serious the problem was. At the time, the city of Chattanooga was notified of roughly 10-15 child abuse cases per week. In 1976, child abuse was only a misdemeanor, while many people considered upping it’s classification to a felony. There are many clues to note in child abuse victims including, but not limited to, undernourishment, repetitive scars, and an overall fearful attitude.

Ten Students Selected For All-State Chorus

February 1977

All ten of the Central students who tried out for the All-State Chorus were accepted in 1977. The ten Central students that were chosen were Mike Atkins, Sherry Bankston, Donna Cate, Donna Dayton, Ellen Hendrix, Gil Highlander, Terrence Jones, Leah Mashburn, Rhonda Stophel, and Teresa Tate. The All-State Chorus tryouts were held at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where students were graded on their voice quality and overall preparedness. The students traveled to Memphis on March 24 for practice with the All-State Chorus and performed a concert on March 26.

Ten Percent of Teenagers in Area Suffer From Some Mental Illness

April 1977

National statistics reported that one out of every ten teens is dealing with some type of mental illness. The report presented the increasing rate of mental illness in teenagers. Research indicated that over eight percent of adolescents in the Chattanooga area deal with a mental disorder. The most common disorders recorded were depression and schizophrenia. None of the mental disorders had led to suicides in the area over the past year, but the threat of it was still looming over everyone.

With Spring Season Comes an Invasion of Insects

May 1977

Since the beginning of spring, many Central students and faculty had reported problems with all sorts of bugs on campus. Mosquitoes, spiders, termites, and several nests were spotted around Central’s campus. Administrators called to see what could be done, and were put on a list of over 300 businesses and institutions with similar problems. There was little explanation for the sudden increase in insect activity in the area.

For those interested, the archived Central Digest publications can be found on the Preservation of Chattanooga Central History website: https://chattanoogacentralhistory.com/digest/

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