Board members discuss Knox County school security`

Board members discuss Knox County school security

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"The systems are operational, and the schools are secure. Now do we have the equipment and the functionality that was specified in the contract? No we don't," said Dr. McIntyre. "The systems are operational, and the schools are secure. Now do we have the equipment and the functionality that was specified in the contract? No we don't," said Dr. McIntyre.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The safety of Knox County Schools is in the spotlight after an audit reveals security system shortcomings.

This evening school board members met to discuss the findings at Powell Middle School and Hardin Valley Academy.

During the work session, the board spent well over an hour discussing school security, and they approved additional security inspections.

The superintendent admitted communication could have been improved between himself and the board.

An independent audit of security systems for Hardin Valley Academy and Powell Middle says the security systems do not meet quality expectations in the educational environment.

The company found broken key pads and missing motion detectors to generic brands being used in place of name brands.

The audit also says the video does not provide facial recognition or high resolution video evidence in the event of a crime or school incident.

PBA officials say these problems have not been fixed because the issues are in litigation.

Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre says despite the audit, the schools are secure.

"The systems are operational, and the schools are secure. Now do we have the equipment and the functionality that was specified in the contract? No we don't," said Dr. McIntyre.

To put the community at ease, the board has agreed to have a random school security inspection.

School board member Mike McMillan wants more information on exactly what the school security system's standard of functioning is.

"When you talk about something as functional or not either, it works or it doesn't work. Either a camera works to someone with average eyesight or it doesn't," said McMillan.

McMillan says the board has to come up with a specific standard to compare all security systems.

He also wants the superintendent to give more information to the board when issues arise.

Dr. McIntyre agrees, "I said to the school board members we have these deficiencies at these schools, and we are addressing them but I did not but I did not provide them with a copy of the audit. If I could do it again I'd do that."

Dr. McIntyre says details on the random school security inspection proposal will be discussed during their next work session on Feb. 18 at the Andrew Johnson Building.

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