Pair of Knox County school board members want to take second look at law enforcement policy

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two Knox County Board of Education members want to take a second look at the Memorandum of Agreement with Knox County law enforcement in the wake of last month’s officer-involved shooting at Austin-East High School.

Third District member Daniel Watson is proposing the resolution and 1st District member, Evetty Satterfield is co-sponsoring it. Austin-East is within the 1st District. The resolution will be discussed during this week’s work session.

“I believe that the community plays a critical role in helping advise Knox County Schools on how safety and security are provided for within the district, and the agreements KCS has with local law enforcement agencies,” Watson said. “Should this resolution pass, I look forward to many productive gatherings with the community to elevate their desires, concerns, and ideas regarding school safety and the MOA that exists with local law enforcement agencies.”

The resolution calls for the formation of a school safety and security subcommittee. The task of the new subcommittee would be to form a taskforce of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders, as well as members of Knoxville and Knox County law enforcement, city and county leaders and a member of the Knox County District Attorney General’s office.

The taskforce will evaluate the MOA and present a proposal by Sept. 29.

Anthony Thompson Jr. was shot and killed in a bathroom of the school by Knoxville Police officer Jonathon Clabough during a confrontation. Four officers were involved and one was injured. None were charged.

The resolution does not name the incident at Austin-East but does note the increase in school resource officers across the country and the school shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The next Board of Education work session is Wednesday at the City-County Building. A vote on the resolution could be held May 12 at the Andrew Johnson Building.

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