law enforcement

Lee gives update on school safety efforts

Gov. Bill Lee speaks to reporters after a bill signing ceremony in Nashville on May 24, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A release from Gov. Bill Lee’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released a video update on key actions the Lee administration has taken to enhance school safety following Executive Order 97, which directed state agencies to engage parents, increase transparency and collaborate with local law enforcement and school districts.

“Our administration has taken meaningful steps to further strengthen school safety in Tennessee by engaging parents, evaluating security measures and strengthening partnerships with law enforcement,” said Lee. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our children, and I thank Tennesseans for doing their part as we continue our coordinated effort to protect students and teachers across the state.”

The Lee administration has taken the following actions to further enhance school safety across Tennessee and promote engagement with parents, schools and law enforcement:

Engaging Parents

— More than 10,000 Tennesseans are using the Safe TN app, a free resource to quickly and confidentially report safety concerns at a child’s school, with a record 2,000 downloads this month

— Expanded School-Based Behavioral Health Liaisons to cover all 95 counties

— Mobile crisis providers are available to families across the state and can be reached by dialing ‘988’

Securing Schools

— Every Tennessee school has completed a physical school security assessment – a total of 1,838 schools

— More than two-thirds of school districts – 104 districts – have participated in school safety training
Frequent, unannounced checks are being prioritized to see that school doors latch and precautions are in place

— Every school district has received an updated School Safety Plan Template

Partnering with Law Enforcement

— State and local law enforcement have collaborated to provide proven, hands-on active shooter training courses in each Grand Division

— Updated training has been provided to more than 600 School Resource Officers

— Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers are building stronger relationships with local school leadership

In the coming months, additional resources will be made available to support parents, teachers and law enforcement in improving school security practices. Future actions will include:

— Tennessee parents and schools will have access to a new School Safety Resource and Engagement Guide
— School districts will receive updated building security standards
— State and local law enforcement will be supported through improved recruitment and training efforts

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Press release from the governor’s office

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