After the Tennessee House of Representatives decided to remove two Democratic members on Thursday night, this item was updated.
Following the massacre at The Covenant School on March 27, which left three children and three adults dead, Tennessee’s state and federal lawmakers have advocated a variety of school safety strategies, from increasing school police to arming instructors.
A drive by student protesters for further gun regulations, such as a “red flag law” that would permit judges to restrict a person’s access to firearms if they are regarded a threat to themselves or others, appeared to be rejected by the state’s Republican-led legislature at the same time.
This week, as they discussed laws pertaining to school safety, the state’s House of Representatives also voted to expel two Democratic representatives for using a megaphone to chant with student demonstrators on the House floor.
On Thursday night, a motion to kick out a third legislator who took part in the protest narrowly fell short.
Echoes of Past School Safety Proposals
Legislators added proposals in response to the tragedy in Nashville on top of laws they had already introduced in response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022 that left 19 children and two adults dead.
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The numerous legislative responses showed how challenging it is to develop definite answers that will address every conceivable threat to school safety. According to experts in school safety, there is no one solution to stop school violence.
Instead, they advise school administrators to implement many layers of security measures, placing equal emphasis on human elements like staff development and encouraging student relationships as they do on technical safeguards like cameras and hardware.
Calls for School Police, Guards
In addition, Lee’s plan would allocate $140 million in subsidies for police stationed in every public school. It would add 122 new agents to the state’s “homeland security network” serving in public and private institutions.
In a similar vein, Republican U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee have proposed federal legislation to create a $900 million grant program
“that will allow both public and private schools to train and hire veterans and former law enforcement officers to serve as school safety officers, hire off-duty law enforcement officers, and provide funding to harden schools and increase physical security,” the pair said in a news release.
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