Haslam to create statewide school security task force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In the wake of Kentucky and Florida school shootings, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam plans a statewide school security task force.

The governor says he got some good ideas about school safety from talks this week in Washington.

“From Thursday night until Monday I was in D.C. for the national Governor’s Association meetings so with Parkland so recent, we had a lot of conversation,” said Haslam.

The conversation crystalized an idea that Tennessee K-12 schools all needed to review their security. And the governor says his initial response is a task force.

“The task force I am putting together is some folks from the legislature, some mental health professionals, some law enforcement and some education people.”

The governor says everything is on the table, while registering a concern about secure entries and exits in case of things like fire.

“A fire escape door, someone can push it open and let someone else in doesn’t necessarily solve the restrictive entry,” Haslam said, “As you can imagine there are a lot of issues around that.”

Other ideas tossed out by the governor include school marshals. They might be teachers or staffers secretly carrying guns, much like air marshals do on passenger flights. An alternative may be more student resource police officers statewide, which is what some lawmakers want.”

Many ideas coming out of a task force might cost money, and those might require an additional funding proposal from the governor for the state budget.

Haslam plans to announce his task force plan on Monday.

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