Knox County education board nears agreement on law enforcement in schools

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — At the June 30 work session, the Knox County Schools Board of Education discussed a proposed MOA agreement between Knoxville Police and the school district.

Back in May, Mayor Indya Kincannon decided to pull Knoxville Police out of the memorandum of understanding with the school system. Since then, there have been calls from parents, teachers and Superintendent Bob Thomas, asking the mayor to come up with a new agreement before the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Now that a new proposed agreement is on the table, the board must approve it.

Knox County teacher, Maureen Schenk says she’s feeling relieved.

“I came here today because I’m concerned that we have an active MOA with KPD and KCS so that we can have a police presence in the classroom,” she said. “Given the current political climate and the violence that’s occurring in a lot of our big cities and even in Knoxville, it’s important to me that I feel safe and secure and also that my students feel safe and secure.”

Arriving to this point wasn’t the way every board member wanted, but now they have to make a decision, possibly without much community input.

This agreement does not include the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, so Knox County Schools will have two separate MOAs. Superintendent Thomas said he spoke with Sheriff Spangler and thinks he would be open to changing some of the language in his MOA as well.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed MOA on July 14.

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