Jun 7, 2022 - News

Lee announces executive order on school safety

Photo illustration of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee with lines radiating from him.
Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Gov. Lee announced an executive order Monday to ratchet up school security and evaluate law enforcement training.

Why it matters: Arriving on the heels of the Uvalde school massacre, Lee's executive actions stopped short of addressing gun control measures.

Driving the news: Lee directed state agencies to provide additional guidance for school districts to implement existing school safety laws. The order also includes:

  • Calls for an increase in periodic audits of school security assessments and safety plans
  • Providing districts with information about financial resources to help pay for school safety programs
  • A directive for the Department of Commerce and Insurance to evaluate law enforcement training standards and make recommendations for expanding and improving existing training for active shooter scenarios

Of note: Lee's executive order seeks to increase parent engagement around the issue of school security by creating a school safety resource and engagement guide.

  • The goal of the guide is to provide parents with information about how to "effectively engage and advocate for safe conditions at their child's school," including the updated SafeTN App to provide mental health resources for parents.

What he's saying: "This order strengthens accountability and transparency around existing school safety planning and assures Tennessee parents that our efforts to protect students and teachers will continue," Lee said in a press release.

The other side: State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a Nashville Democrat, blasted Lee's executive order as "hollow and toothless."

  • Clemmons said Lee's order will do "absolutely nothing to curb the root causes of gun violence."
  • Clemmons reiterated his call for a special legislative session to address the issue of gun violence.
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