01 Apr Kingsport City Schools: ‘It’s encouraging’ to have Gov. Haslam approve safety recommendations
KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced he approved the school safety recommendations made by the school safety working group he appointed earlier this month.
It calls for security risk assessments of all Tennessee public schools made this year.
It will be the first time the state has completed a comprehensive effort to determine the security needed for each school.
Kelly Ranson said in wake of the recent school shootings, she supports Haslam’s decision to approve these school safety recommendations.
"You know with everything our nation is experiencing right now, the more hands on deck the better," Ranson said.
In the press release, Haslam listed three immediate priorities Wednesday:
1. A review and risk assessment of all school facilities to identify vulnerabilities;
2. An increase in available resources to help secure school resource officers (SROs); and
3. A statewide technology application for anonymous reporting of security threats.
Andy True, assistant superintendent of Kingsport City Schools, said it’s encouraging to see school safety recommendations made at the state level.
"It really helps us, I think realize that our efforts are aligned with what’s going on at the state level, in order to analyze where we are and where we can improve," True said.
He said a safety task force was currently formed in the Kingsport City School system to study school safety.
"We have a group of law enforcement and industry experts helping us look at what were doing," True said.
In the Kingsport City School system, school resource officers are only assigned to Dobyns-Bennett High School and each middle school.
While the elementary schools don’t have school resource officers, True said more than 2,000 walk-through’s were conducted by Kingsport Police last year in the elementary schools.
The lack of school resource officers could change after Haslam put an additional $30 million toward school safety.
Ranson said she thinks the additional funding is necessary in order to make sure all kids are able to learn in a safe environment.
"The more secure our school system can be I think gives parents comfort and confidence in sending our kids to public schools," Ranson said.
True said it’s vital for students to have open communication, if they see something out of the ordinary to report it.
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