Governor Issues Executive Order To Enhance School Safety

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order extensively revamping public school safety measures calling for more transparency.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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school safety

Schools, districts, and state officials are all readdressing school safety measures following the deadly Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers. One state acted swiftly to extensively revamp school policies concerning safety implications on the state level. According to WSMV News, Tennessee’s governor signed an executive order on Monday, June 6th modifying The Volunteer States’ laws on safety measures and evaluation of training for law enforcement response. 

Republican Governor Bill Lee signed the executive order Monday morning in response to the uptick of violent threats being made at schools all across the nation. In signing the act, Lee noted that the legislation would reinforce accountability and transparency surrounding all current school safety policies. In doing so, he hopes to assure parents that their children will be made as safe as possible inside school campuses. 

A lot of the executive order for school safety is aimed at giving parents more transparency through a School Safety Resources and Engagement Guide. Available to parents, it will include information on how parental rights will allow them to engage and advocate for safe conditions inside their child’s school. Additionally, this new guide will come equipped with a tool for parents to report any suspicious or concerning activity through an app called Safe TN.

Furthermore, the school safety act will also include resources for child mental health care. Parents, families, and community members are also being encouraged to participate in strategies to keep children safe in schools, by partnering with law enforcement to ensure no one gains access to school buildings who shouldn’t. Additional resources are also being provided to any parent that wishes to inquire about building security and compliance.

School protocols are also changing. Schools will now offer a single point of entry to ramp up school safety, with all other doorways being heavily secured. Each public school is also now required to conduct an annual security assessment and submit a school safety plan to the state for approval. State audits of school safety implications will also take place more often within every Tennessee public school to ensure they are complying with regulations. 

Given the outrage at the lack of response on part of local authorities in Uvalde, Texas in the wake of the mass school shooting, part of this extensive school safety plan also covered police response. Law enforcement officials are now required to evaluate and assess their training standards and recommend expansion, improvements, or enhancements to training for active-shooter scenarios. Likewise, the Department of Commerce and Insurance will also be directed to review the use of armed security guards in non-public schools for other institutions. It will also enact new strategies to expand recruitment opportunities for those interested in a career in law enforcement. 

school safety

Not everyone agrees with the plausibility or effectiveness of Tennessee’s revamped school safety order, but it’s at the least a starting point. Some believe hardening schools will lead to fewer mass shootings, while others feel the fight needs to go directly to gun restricting laws. Either way, the situation is clearly only worsening in America, with no signs of getting better.