Haslam Announces Completion Of Statewide School Safety Assessment And Release Of $35 Million To Improve School Security

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday announced the first-ever statewide assessment of school facilities and safety procedures will be fully completed by the end of August, with unprecedented school security funding now available to school districts to implement identified school security and safety needs.

In March, the governor’s School Safety Working Group recommended the statewide review of school facilities and safety procedures and precautions. The recommendation, accepted by the governor, led to immediate safety assessments by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in coordination with the Department of Education and local school officials. To date, 1,796 schools – or about 99 percent of Tennessee’s public schools – have completed the security assessment with the remaining two percent set for completion by Aug. 31.

The application window for state grant funding opened July 16, with nine grant applications already received and many more expected in the coming days. The governor’s fiscal year 2019 budget, passed by the General Assembly, includes $25 million in one-time funding for schools to address vulnerabilities and risks, and $10 million in recurring grant funding for ongoing safety and prevention programs. Funding may be used for a variety of enhancements such as entry to and exit from schools, training and availability of school resource officers, and in-school mental health resources for students.

“All children in Tennessee deserve to learn in a safe and secure environment,” Governor Haslam said. “I am confident the significant work undertaken by our state and local officials as well as the funding to implement identified areas for improvement will serve to enhance the safety of our schools, educators and students.”

Additionally, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security is working to secure a developer to complete a statewide school safety mobile application. The application will be used by students, faculty, and staff to anonymously report concerning or suspicious behavior to local law enforcement and school officials. In tandem, the Department of Education is developing a complementary training program that will prepare school officials to properly assess and respond to reported threats.



Motorcyclist Dies After Accident In Polk County

An accident on Wednesday night has left one man dead.  Police said a motorcyclist, John Gorman, 46, was killed after his motorcycle hit another vehicle after crossing the center lane.  They said he was wearing a helmet.  The accident happened on Highway 64 at the intersection of Forrest Service Highway.  The driver and passenger of the other vehicle ... (click for more)

Dade County Substitute Teacher Arrested For Sending Students Inappropriate Messages

Amanda Lenea Pardue, 35, a substitute teacher for Dade County High School, was arrested Thursday after sending inappropriate messages and pictures to students, said police.  Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Pardue sent the messages to 14-year-old juveniles.  The charges are electronically furnishing obscene material to minors and a felony charge of computer or ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scream ‘Sexual Assault!’

Candace Owens, a communications director for the conservative non-profit “Turning Point,” wasted not a minute’s time as the Democratic debauchery of Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh raced like a prairie fire across America. There is little doubt that many politicians -- on either side of the aisle -- play a little loose with the truth. But this Eleventh Hour attack on the ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Beats Bradley Central, 3-0, For 12th Straight Victory

Bradley Central took East Hamilton, one of the better volleyball teams in Southeast Tennessee regardless of classification, to five sets in their first meeting on Aug. 15 in Cleveland. “So, Bradley is not a team you can underestimate,” Lady Hurricanes coach Bojana Hyatt said after her team’s 3-0 sweep of the Bearettes at East Hamilton High School. “They gave us a run for our ... (click for more)

Inspired Chattanooga Christian Sweeps Notre Dame

Chattanooga Christian and Notre Dame have built a really good rivalry in recent years, especially in volleyball. Notre Dame had the dominant team for many years before the two teams split regular-season matches a year ago. Chattanooga Christian has the upper hand in 2018 and clinched first place in the district on Wednesday night at Notre Dame’s Jack Steiner Gymnasium with ... (click for more)