Too Little, Too Late? State Scrambles to Pass New Legislation – AFTER THE CRISIS

( – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill May 10 which will add new safety measures to schools across the state. 

The legislation follows a school shooting on March 27 in Nashville. Though the bill was originally introduced before the shooting, the funding and measures increased after the shooting. The Tennessee state House and Tennessee state Senate both passed the bill in April.

The bill requires that exterior doors of schools be locked during hours school is in session. Active shooter training must be completed by school security guards.

Each school in the state, both public as well as private, must have a school safety plan annually that is shared with law enforcement. Enhanced annual active shooter drills will be required. The establishment of threat assessment teams will be required by all school districts. Schools either constructed or remodeled after July 1 are required to have enhanced security systems including doors that lock from the inside.

The bill also provides $230 million in funding for school safety which can be used for security enhancements. Of the $230 million, $30 million would be for having armed school resource officers in each public school as well as $8 million for having more behavioral health liaisons in each school. Of the $230 million, $140 million would go toward having Homeland Security agents in every county in the state in order to coordinate responses for school security.

The funding goes into place with the start of the new fiscal year, July 1.

A special legislative session will be called by Lee on Aug. 21, Lee announced May 8. The session will address guns as lawmakers adjourned before they discussed an order of protection law. Lee proposed the order of protection law before the end of the session. The law allows for Family members, law enforcement and others to petition the court for an order. The law is an attempt to keep guns out of the hands of people who may harm themselves or others.

Copyright 2023,