Sumner County Board of Education requests additional SROs - WKRN News 2

Sumner County Board of Education requests additional SROs


For the Sumner County School District, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children and six adults dead, was a wake up call and is prompting officials to take a closer look at school safety.

"It's as much about being proactive and preventive as reactive and that's the position we want to take," Sumner County Director of Schools Dr. Del Phillips told Nashville's News 2.

In an open letter, Dr. Phillips asked the Sumner County Commission for funding to beef up school security.

Initially, Dr. Phillips asked for funding for 20 school resource officers.

At Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, the board voted to request 46 school resource officers to be placed in each Sumner County School.

Currently, the district has seven school resource officers, one in each high school.

Dr. Phillips is also asking that physical safety improvements be made to school buildings.

The cost is an estimated $3 to $5 million.

However, a few months ago, the Board of Education could not even get the Sumner County Commission to approve their school budget which delayed the start of school in fall.

While parents like Caroline Krueger, the mother of four Sumner County students, believes school safety should be a top priority she questions if this proposal is the right move for the already cash strapped school district.

"I do fear that this money has to come from somewhere, it's not going to come out of thin air so what are we going to lose, I've already thought about that," Krueger told Nashville's News 2.

Krueger hopes that the district will make small changes first before committing to a larger security plan.

"As long as it's very well thought out, I don't think we want to give a knee jerk reaction, we want to make sure that we're exploring all avenues that we're sure about what we're doing before we do anything," Krueger said.

It's unclear right now when this proposal will make its way to the County Commission but for the school district, this is the first step.

"I think our obligation is to try and get a plan and make a request to the County Commission and obviously by statute it's their ultimate decision whether or not they want to fund that or not," Dr. Phillips said.

Currently, a team is in the process of reviewing each Sumner County school's safety.

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