Rutherford County, TN - While the recent school shooting that occurred in Nashville was at a private school, it doesn't diminish the need to take a closer look at school safety. The incident on Monday has raised concerns among parents, law enforcement personnel and elected officials across the state.
A bill proposed by State Senator Shane Reeves of Murfreesboro would require every public school in Tennessee to have a School Resource Officer, which some schools in rural areas lack... That was JC Bowman, Executive Director of the Professional Educators of Tennessee. Senate Bill 1400 will be heard by the Senate Education Committee before the end of the week.
The bill by Senator Reeves will require the SRO to serve the school during the regular school day and to work any school-sponsored event held at the school. Grant money will be allocated with the bill, so smaller school districts can better afford an SRO.
The Rutherford County Schools were one of the first school districts in Tennessee to implement an SRO program. In 1993 Sheriff Truman Jones, who is now retired, started the SRO Program in Rutherford County. At the time, Sheriff Jones put five officers in five schools.
Today, there is an SRO working in every Rutherford County School. The highly trained officers help to assure the safety of students daily in the classroom, while also working at the school during sports events, parent-teacher conferences and faculty meetings.
Lawmakers are also making revisions to the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act. Bowman told WGNS News... Senate Bill 0274 was sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson and House Bill 0322 was pushed forward by Representative William Lamberth. The proposed revisions are under the Governors Safety Bill.
The Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act. Authorizes a representative of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police to be appointed to the state-level safety team. The revision also transfers responsibility to establish a state-level safety team from the Commissioner of the Department of Education (DOE) to the Commissioner of Safety. It further requires public charter schools to adopt a comprehensive district-wide school safety plan and building-level school safety plans.
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