McNally sends school security recommendations to governor following shooting

Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) presides over a floor session Feb. 2, 2022. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) is outlining his recommendations for improving school safety in a letter to Gov. Bill Lee following the fatal shooting at the the Covenant School in Nashville this week.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Governor Lee,

Like you, I was deeply affected by the attack on the Covenant School earlier this week. While much of my time has been spent in reflection and prayer about the horrific events, I have also thought deeply about what policies the state could adopt to prevent such events in the future.

While these changes would come with a cost, I believe it is important for us to have a conversation about how to increase and modernize security at schools in Tennessee. Much like the institution of fire codes has decreased the amount of school building fires, I believe we can come up with something similar for school safety.

1) Securing windows and glass in school buildings — As you know, the perpetrator in the most recent school shooting shot out the glass of the school’s doors to gain entry. My understanding is that there is a film that can be affixed to the windows and doors in schools that would be bullet proof or resistant.

2) Magnetic locks on doors — Keyed locks can cause delays in police response in an emergency. Magnetic locks, however, can be critical in keeping shooters out while allowing police and first responders speedier access in a crisis.

3) Centralized and modernized camera systems — Outfitting schools with the latest security camera systems can also assist in response to these incidents. If police can get immediate access to these systems, they can quickly identify the location of the perpetrator and can work even faster to eliminate the threat and keep children safe.

4) Armed guards — While we have made great progress in making sure our public schools have access to School Resource Officers, I believe we can do more. Reports indicate that the shooter at Covenant chose the school because of its minimal security. If we can ensure that all schools, public and private, have armed guards, we may be able to cut down on these events significantly.

These are just a few ideas I wanted to bring to your attention as we formulate a comprehensive response to this incident. I am sure you and your team have many ideas as well. I look forward, as always, to working with you to keep our citizens safe.



Randy McNally

Lieutenant Governor

Speaker of the Senate

cc: Speaker Cameron Sexton

Senator Jack Johnson

Senator Ken Yager

Senator Ferrell Haile

Senator Bo Watson

Senator Jon Lundberg


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