Tennessee

In 2018, the Police Foundation staff conducted a comprehensive public domain scan of state legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the following aspects of school safety and security:

  • facility security and assessment requirements;
  • creation, and identification of roles and responsibilities for state school safety centers and school safety teams/committees;
  • requirements for school administrators and faculty;
  • allocation of funds for improving school safety and security; and
  • all-hazards emergency planning and preparedness.

The Police Foundation also reviewed legislation and amendments passed by state legislatures and signed into law following the mass violence attacks at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Seven states—Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—officially codified new significant school safety and security laws that address at least one of the aspects mentioned above. The legislative review utilized open source research, and encompasses all legislation that was officially codified by September 11, 2018.

The highlighted states on the map represent examples of states with comprehensive school safety legislation and promising practices.

 

PROMISING PRACTICES

  • Requires the Commissioner of Education to establish a state-level safety team to assist local education agencies and individual schools by publishing and regularly reviewing and updating template safety plans for the district and individual buildings.
  • Requires each school district to have a comprehensive district-wide school safety plan and building-level school safety plan regarding crisis intervention, emergency response, and emergency management that must be provided to local law enforcement. The plan must be reviewed at least annually by the appropriate school safety team.
  • Requires each district to have a school safety and each school to have a building-level school safety team that must include: representatives of the school board; representatives of student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations; and school personnel.
  • Requires each school to conduct at least one armed intruder drill annually in coordination with the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
  • Allows the legislative body of any county or municipality to appropriate funds for the purpose of providing resources for district-wide school safety plans, building-level plans, and district school safety teams.
  • Provides the criteria for people employed by local education agencies to be armed, including the training they must complete.
  • Provides circumstances when a principal may order that lockers, vehicles, containers, packages, and students may be searched in the name of school safety and allows metal detectors—both handheld and stationary—or animals to be used.
  • Requires the Department of Education to establish a Tennessee School Safety Center to develop and evaluate training materials and guidelines on school safety and serve as a clearinghouse for such information and data.
  • To the extent possible through appropriations for the Center, it may establish grants to local education agencies for the development of programs that enhance school safety and security.

State Of Tennessee

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