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State officials will soon evaluate every Tennessee elementary and secondary school to identify areas of risk in a first-ever effort that comes during a national debate on gun violence.
Governor Bill Haslam announced the move Wednesday. It was one recommendation of three submitted to him by a school safety working group he established earlier this month. The group also suggested increasing resources for school resource officers and a statewide system for the anonymous reporting of security threats.
Haslam’s 2019 budget includes $30 million to help pay for increasing security at schools.
”The recommendations of the working group, coupled with increased investment, provide a path to making immediate, impactful and unprecedented security improvements in our schools and also lay the groundwork for longer term actions around training, drills and mental health support,” Haslam said in a statement.
Security checks of the schools will be carried out but the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security with the Tennessee Department of Education. Haslam directed the agencies to immediately development and implement a plan to check all the schools.
The assessments will be based on model security standards identified by Homeland Security. Haslam plans to have every school checked before students return for the 2018-2019 school year.
Last weekend's March For Our Lives event drew thousands to protest gun violence in public demonstrations at more than 800 sites around the world, including Memphis
. The event was largely in response to a mass shooting in a Florida school that killed 17 people.