Department Of Education, Local Districts Host School Safety Summit

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

State leaders joined representatives from more than 120 Tennessee school systems Tuesday at the Factory in Franklin for a summit to discuss school districts’ safety practices.

Governor Bill Haslam, officials from state agencies, including education, homeland security, mental health and emergency management attended this one-day event designed to engage stakeholders in a conversation around the safety resources and practices currently in place in Tennessee schools, and to think through additional measures that schools and districts can put into place. Attendees also heard from leading state and national experts on current practices in safety, law enforcement and mental health. 

“The tragedy in Newtown has given us all an opportunity to sit down, and as lawmakers, educators and parents, to focus our attention on one of our top priorities: the safety and security of our children,” said Governor Haslam. “As the father of an elementary school teacher, I know personally how critical it is for us to ensure that we create safe spaces for our students and teachers.”

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman agreed, noting that the right plan would likely vary district by district, but that schools already are doing a solid job of keeping students safe.

“We strongly believe that schools have been doing the right thing with regards to keeping our students safe,” said Commissioner Huffman. “Today, district leaders revisited best practices and heard the latest ideas on school safety; we hope everyone here today continues to keep this conversation going in their communities.”

Mike Looney, director of Williamson County Schools, one of the event’s hosts, said he appreciated the opportunity to share ideas with his colleagues.

“School districts participate in various forms of school safety training throughout the year, but having more than 400 sheriffs, police chiefs, mental health professionals, educators and policymakers in one room discussing this issue has been helpful,” he said. “We all have a part to play.” 

In his 2013 State of the State address Monday, Governor Haslam outlined his FY 13-14 budget proposal which includes $34 million to address ongoing capital needs in K-12 schools across the state. These dollars can also be used for increased security measures if local officials decide to do so.

For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at 615.532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.


Cleveland State Recognizes Tennessee Promise/Tennessee Reconnect Students With Special Welcome Week Celebration

Cleveland State Community College officials say they will offer a “sunny” welcome to both new and returning Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect students arriving on campus this week with a special celebration on Thursday during the college’s Convocation at 12:30 p.m. the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.  Under the theme “My Future’s So Bright,” Tennessee Promise and Reconnect ... (click for more)

The Charles Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients At UTC

The Mario C. and Grace B. Charles Foundation Scholarships are awarded annually to students in two different categories: engineering and education, in honor and memory of husband and wife  Mario C. Charles, formerly an engineer with TVA, and Grace B. Charles, formerly a teacher in the Chattanooga public school system.  John R. Burhman, treasurer and member of the board ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Orders Walker County To Pay Erlanger $8,705,000, Plus Interest; Question Of Attorney Fees And Expenses To Go To Jury

Federal Judge Harold Murphy, in a 63-page ruling handed down Tuesday, ordered Walker County, Ga., to pay the Erlanger Health System $8,705,000, plus interest, on the Hutcheson Hospital debt. Judge Murphy, of Rome, Ga., said the question of attorney fees and expenses owed Erlanger by Walker County should be decided by a jury trial. Walker County and Catoosa County earlier agreed ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Problems With The Proposed Apartments In Lookout Valley

I am deeply troubled at the way in which this proposal has been handled. The blatant disregard for the residents of Kelly's Ferry Road and the wishes of the Lookout Valley Area Plan (which was adopted by the city in 2003) by Chip Henderson and Tommy Austin amazes me. Yes, there was a meeting of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood association in August, but it wasn't on its normal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)