Emergency Preparedness, Safety, Security

Tennessee Gov. Signs School Safety Bill After Nashville Shooting

On May 10, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed school safety legislation into law and recognized the investment of more than $230 million to strengthen safety at public and private schools across the state. The measures are in response to a March shooting that killed three children and three adults at the Covenant School in Nashville.

Courtesy: Gov. Lee’s office

“Nothing is more important than Tennessee students and teachers returning home from school safely each day,” said Lee.

The new law and funding build upon previous proposals Lee made before the tragedy occurred.

Enhanced School Safety Legislation

  • Enacts a multi-tiered accountability plan to ensure exterior doors are locked while students are present.
  • Requires that private security guards receive active shooter training prior to being posted at schools. 
  • Requires every school district to establish threat assessment teams to ensure students are connected to support services and behavioral health professionals when appropriate.
  • Requires every public and private school to develop annual safety plans, including a newly required incident command drill for school leaders and law enforcement.

$230 Million in School Safety Funding

  • $30 million for more than 100 Homeland Security agents across all 95 counties to serve Tennesseans and students in both public and non-public schools.
  • $140 million for one full-time, armed School Resource Officer (SRO) for every public school.
  • $40 million for public school security upgrades.
  • $14 million for private school security upgrades.
  • $8 million for additional School-Based Behavioral Health Liaisons across the state.

Despite the new measures, critics continue to call on Lee and the Republican-led state legislature to do more to prevent school shootings, most notably the adoption of gun control laws.

ALSO READ: What’s New in the PASS Guidelines for Securing K-12 Schools

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