Knox Co. School Board to discuss face coverings & law enforcement policy in work session

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Ahead of Knox County Board of Education’s regular session on May 12, Knox County Schools will hold a work session Wednesday night to discuss face coverings in schools, and its law enforcement agreement/policy.

This work session will be visiting revisions to the 2020-2021 Reopening Plan that enacted the policy requiring face coverings to be worn by all persons while inside school buildings.

That revision as written within the policy states: “The face mask requirement will end on Wednesday, May 26 and until August 1, 2021, the Knox County Schools will follow the current Tennessee Department of Health guidelines, which state that masks are recommended, but optional.”

This revision is set to be approved or denied a the BOE’s upcoming regular session on May 12.

This work session will also be visiting the request to review and revise the current Memorandum of Agreement between KCS, Knoxville Police Dept., Knox Co. Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville, Knox County and the Knox Co. District Attorney General.

This review and revision process (if approved) will take place through an open community-engaged process.

The following will be looked at for review and for amending the current MOA with the Board of Education:

  • An ad hoc School Safety and Security subcommittee of three BOE members along with the Superintendent will be established
  • That subcommittee (if approved) will then form a task force that will include a representative from the student body, parents, teachers, administrators and civil rights and community stakeholder groupers
  • The task force will also include a rep. from Knox Co. Schools Security, KCSO, and KPD along with the city of Knoxville, Knox Co. and Knox Co. DA.
  • The task force will have access to publicly available data related to school security and law enforcement activities from Knox Co. Schools, KCSO, and KPD.
  • The task force shall engage external subject matter experts in regard to best practices in the formation of memorandums of agreement between school districts and local law enforcement agencies as well as those experts who understand evidence models related to school safety and security
  • Up to $50,000 will be provided to engage such experts
  • The task force shall hold no less than three public meetings to gain insight and understanding regarding the community’s priorities and perspective related to school security and safety
  • The task force shall be selected and hold its first organizing meeting no later than June 4 and shall present its recommendations, if any for the Memorandum of Agreement to the Subcommittee no later than September 1
  • The BOE shall receive a brief monthly report from the Subcommittee at the regularly scheduled Board of Education Workshop Meetings on June 30 and August 4
  • The Subcommittee shall present a proposal for approval regarding the Memorandum of Agreement to the Board of Education by the regularly scheduled Work Session on September 29

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Jordan Brown will be covering May 5’s work session.

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