During the pandemic, school and state officials have focused on student health safety. What about school security? State Senator Paul Bailey said school security has not been forgotten.
“The focus is always on student safety from the Department of Education, and of course from the Department of Safety,” Bailey said. “The efforts are ongoing to make sure that our students when they’re in school are safe and secure.”
Tennessee passed the Safe Schools Act in 2018 after the Parkland School shooting. More than money, the act included an assessment of every school in the state to looking at security protocols and needs. It examined the need for more resource officers and changes to school facilities. The act also provided money to school systems to fund the changes.
Bailey said the state safety grants for school districts are still in place, and safety measures for more doorway entries or SRO officers are still in motion. Bailey said he does not expect school systems to change tactics in school security.
“You could never say that more shouldn’t be done because I think that we’re always trying to enhance the safety of our students,” Bailey said. “Especially on a school campus and making sure that no harm could ever come near them.”
Bailey said the state is estimated to lose over $1 billion in tax revenue, causing programs and positions to be cut. He said he won’t let that affect school security.
“I can say that as someone who represents the Upper Cumberland, school safety is first and foremost in my mind, and in my heart,” Bailey said. “I will fight every day to make sure no funding is cut that would jeopardize the safety of our children.”