Officials meet in Nashville for School Safety Summit

Officials meet in Nashville for School Safety Summit

Posted:
"The error for folks like me, the politicians, would be to say, 'Here's what we're going to do,' without involving those who do this every day," Gov. Haslam said. "The error for folks like me, the politicians, would be to say, 'Here's what we're going to do,' without involving those who do this every day," Gov. Haslam said.
"Everything that they've talked about today, we're already doing," said Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones. "Everything that they've talked about today, we're already doing," said Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

FRANKLIN (WATE) - In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, school systems across the country are questioning their own security plans.

On Tuesday, Tennessee educators and law enforcement officials joined Gov. Bill Haslam in Franklin to participate in a far-reaching discussion on how best to protect our schools.

More than 400 participants from nearly every one of the 137 school districts in the state participated in the School Safety Summit.

Among them was Cumberland County School Security head Tim Claflin, who said the summit was a perfect networking opportunity.

"This gives us a great opportunity to network with other counties, like Knox, and get lots of different ideas about security," he said.

Mike Lowery of Monroe County also attended and agreed with Claflin.

"I feel we're doing a good job right now with school security, but we're never satisfied with the status quo, so we're always looking for better ways to do things," he said.

The summit was organized by the state and led by Gov. Haslam, who told the crowd that he was there, along with his Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, to listen. 

"This is a discussion," the governor said.

It was also an opportunity to hear from those on the front lines of the security challenges.

"The error for folks like me, the politicians, would be to say, 'Here's what we're going to do,' without involving those who do this every day," he said.

Already, though, several bills have been introduced in the General Assembly that would arm both teachers and school administrators.

Gov. Haslam says he has a personal stake in that because his daughter is a teacher.

"I said, 'Can you imagine a situation where teachers are armed?' and she said, 'I can't imagine being in the middle of a situation with students as being very effective'," he said.

What does appear to be effective, however, is communication.

"One of the themes of today's summit is making sure we are all collaborating and cooperating and I think Knox County Schools is a great example of that because we have extraordinary collaboration," said Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre.

Knox County's top cops, Sheriff J.J. Jones and Police Chief David Rausch, both agreed with the superintendent's assessment.

"Everything that they've talked about today, we're already doing," said the sheriff.

"The key is paying attention to the fact that we all need to work together," Chief Rausch said. "It's not a school responsibility or law enforcement's responsibility. It's all our responsibilities."

The one-day summit included national speakers including William Modzeleski, a recognized expert on school violence, who told participants that curbing school violence doesn't stop at the front door.

It's also about creating a culture of connectedness, he said.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.