Knox County School Board votes against hiring facilitator to lead community discussions about MOA

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The conversation about security in Knox County Schools continued Wednesday afternoon. The School Board met to vote on whether or not to hire a facilitator to lead discussions with the community about the MOA with local law enforcement.

The motion ultimately did not pass. The vote was split with three voting yes, three voting no, and two passing on the vote.

“I’m disappointed. But the vote of the board is the vote of the board and as someone who respects the vote of the board, we move on,” said District 1 representative Evetty Satterfield.

This started with Representative Daniel Watson’s proposed resolution to include the community in discussions about the Memorandum of Agreement, which is the document that puts security officers in schools.

The board voted against that resolution but agreed to have more conversations about the idea. Wednesday night’s vote came after the board’s May 19 decision to hire an outside facilitator to help lead the community-involved process with the MOA. But last week, some board members had second thoughts after Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs sent a letter to board members opposing that idea.

Right before Wednesday night’s vote, Representative Satterfield told the board an organization reached out to her willingness to cover the cost of the facilitator so that taxpayer dollars were not spent. This was one of the major concerns outlined in the letter from Mayor Jacobs. Spending taxpayer dollars unnecessarily was also a concern shared by other board members.

Even with the board knowing that the cost could be taken care of, the motion still did not pass.

The next steps from here are unclear, but with the transition of a new security chief happening soon, some board members are hopeful that the new person can offer some guidance.

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