Knox County superintendent calls for armed officers in schools

Knox County superintendent calls for armed officers in all schools

Posted:
"I've become convinced we should have an armed, uniformed school resource officer or security officer at each and every one our schools," Dr. Jim McIntyre said. "I've become convinced we should have an armed, uniformed school resource officer or security officer at each and every one our schools," Dr. Jim McIntyre said.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

POWELL (WATE) –  Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre announced Tuesday possible security changes to all of the district's schools.

The superintendent made his remarks at Powell High School in his second annual State of the Schools Address.

Dr. McIntyre looked at the achievements of the school district in the 2012 school year, including improved graduation rates and test scores.

The portions of the speech that grabbed parents attention were the plans to bring more technology into the classroom and put armed officers in front of all of the county's schools.

"I've become convinced we should have an armed, uniformed school resource officer or security officer at each and every one our schools," Dr. McIntyre said, followed by loud applause from an auditorium filled with parents and educators.

For parents listening, they said it was an investment they agree with.

"At my daughter's school they do have cameras and you do have to be buzzed in but I do think they need armed guards at all the schools in Knox County," said Elizabeth White, a parent of a Knox County student.

Additionally, Dr. McIntyre says all schools need to have up to date equipment. 

"I think we need to have current video monitoring systems in each of our schools, I think we need to have an access control strategy at each of our schools, a secure vestibule or camera buzzer system," he explained.

Security was just one of his four investment goals outline in the address. He also wants to invest in improved instructional advancement, like early literacy programs and enrichment. The other main goals are better teacher compensation and increased technology in the classroom.

"I'm pleased to announce an internal competition in schools across the county, that have the interest, the passion and the capacity to effectively implement a one to one technology initiative," Dr. McIntyre announced in his speech.

The plan would be to put a laptop in the hand of every student and teacher in 10 schools across the county to prove the need for the technology in all schools.

"If we're able to demonstrate the success we can see with high quality instruction and student learning than it will really build some demand and some appetite," he said of the plan.

It's a plan White sees as an investment in the school's and her daughter's future.

"I think it's going to help her in the future to get a job because that's the main thing because were going from K to J," White said.

The phrase "K to J" means kindergarten to a job and it's Dr. McIntyre's plan for each of Knox County's students and the motivation for each of his proposed investment goals.

The superintendent does not have details on the cost or time line of the goals outlined Tuesday night, but he is working on putting together a budget for the school board's approval within the upcoming weeks.

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