NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Lee has announced new actions that his administration is taking to enhance school safety across Tennessee.

The Lee administration says during this school year engagement is being promoted with parents, schools and law enforcement to ensure safety is established in schools across the state. 

“Our administration has taken meaningful steps to further strengthen school safety in Tennessee by engaging parents, evaluating security measures and strengthening partnerships with law enforcement,” said Lee. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our children, and I thank Tennesseans for doing their part as we continue our coordinated effort to protect students and teachers across the state.” 

In a release, the governor announced tools that are currently available to parents and plans for the future to ensure school safety remains a priority in Tennessee schools.

Tools for Parents:

The administration says more than 10,000 Tennesseans are using the SafeTN app, which was a resource the governor urged parents to download ahead of the 2022 school year

The free app provides students and parents a direct line to Homeland Security. According to the Lee administration, a record 2,000 downloads were reported this month.

Under the safety actions, parents are also being encouraged to dial 988 to get the immediate help of mobile crisis providers if needed. Lee says parents can not only call but text 988, which will connect them to over 200 crisis centers within the lifeline’s network.

Securing Schools:

In a release, the Lee administration says all 1,838 schools in the state have completed a physical school security assessment with more the two-thirds of school districts – 104 districts – having participated in school safety training.

Governor Lee says frequent, unannounced checks are being prioritized to see that school doors are latched and precautions are in place.

Law Enforcement:

More than 600 school resource officers have received updated training. The administration says state and local law enforcement has also collaborated to provide proven, hands-on active shooter training courses in each Grand Division across the state.

Lee says troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol are also building relationships with local school leadership.

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In the Future:

Governor Lee says in the coming months, additional resources will be made available to support parents, teachers and law enforcement in improving these school security practices.

Those additional resources include Tennessee parents and schools will having access to a new School Safety Resource and Engagement Guide, school districts receiving updated building security standards and state and local law enforcement improving recruitment and training efforts.