School security changes follow Inskip shooting

School security changes follow Inskip shooting


6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County school officials talked Monday night about making security changes in the wake of a school shooting in 2010.

It was nearly a year ago that police say Inskip Elementary School teacher Mark Foster opened fire after learning his contract would not be renewed. Principal Elisa Luna and Assistant Principal Amy Brace were wounded. 

"It's been an adjustment," said Dan Potter. He is the father of three, one former and two current Inskip Elementary students.

"With the kids, it's a lot of concern. 'How is Ms. Luna doing now?' They were so thrilled when she came back to school. Last year when Ms. Brace came back before the end of the year was just phenomenal. That they could show these kids that adversity has come upon us, but we weathered through it and we've pushed forward with courage and integrity," Potter said.

He's also had to answer questions and reassure his kids.

"We tell them that when they go to school, Mom and Dad are not going to send them anywhere that we know is not going to be safe because that's our number one job," he said.

Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre is making some security changes following an expert panel's recommendations.

They include: a more thorough reference and background check that includes gaps in employment, a new employee threat assessment protocol similar to one already in place to investigate students perceived as dangerous, and a stronger emphasis on the option to fire teachers off-campus with security present.

"Hindsight is always 20/20. I think this is something, knowing that they have all of these children in their responsibility, this is something that should have been implemented many, many, many years ago," Potter said.

The school system also used a $50,000 federal grant to buy two portable walk-thru metal detectors, cameras for Maynard and Green elementary schools, and new firearms training equipment for security officers.

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