RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN – A Tennessee Special Session is underway in Nashville this week, with an underlying focus on school safety. Governor Bill Lee requested the Special Session shortly after the Nashville area Covenant School shooting, which took place in late March.
The school safety bill that was signed into law this past May, requires schools built or remodeled after July 1, 2023, to have bulletproof windows and doors. Currently, Rutherford County is looking into the idea of reinforcing the exterior glass and/or glass entry doors of existing school buildings with a special film that would cover the glass already in place. Rutherford County SRO Sgt. Dustin Cox stated... While the proposed protective film over the windows is not fully bulletproof, it would provide enough protection to the windows to prevent them from instantly shattering when fired upon...
Keep in mind, local schools already have a list of safety protocols in place to keep anyone who shouldn't be in a school, OUT. That safety starts at the front door... That was SRO Sgt. Shawn Jones who is in the Smyrna area at one of three Stewart's Creek schools. Once a visitor is inside a school, the front office will typically run the visitors ID through a special system that quickly checks for previous criminal arrests or convictions...
This school year marks the 30th anniversary of the School Resource Officer program in Rutherford County, which was started in 1993. The program began under retired Sheriff Truman Jones. The SRO program began with a total of five Sheriff’s Deputies in five different schools. 30-Years later, there are SRO’s in every local school.
A long list of bills will be heard during the special session this week. Most of the bills are under the topics of mental health and school safety.
One bill focuses on a temporary “Mental Health Order of Protection.” If pushed forward, the newly proposed order of protection would have be initiated by law enforcement.
The state is also directing TennCare to seek funding assistance from the federal government to to provide better coverage of mental illness and substance abuse disorders.