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ERIC Number: ED594463
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Safety First: A Review of Security and Preparedness in Tennessee Schools
Tennessee Department of Education
School safety is a critical issue that has steadily gained more attention over the past two decades. High-profile school shootings like the tragic incident at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have reignited calls to address school security and behavioral health so that all students have access to a safe learning environment. Tennessee Governor Haslam took action in March 2018 by convening a School Safety Working Group that was tasked with reviewing Tennessee's school safety measures and providing recommendations. The group identified three immediate priorities: (1) a review of all school facilities to identify vulnerabilities; (2) increased funding for school resource officers (SROs); and (3) the development of a system for reporting suspicious activity. To support this work, the Tennessee General Assembly approved $35 million in funding to enhance school safety and stipulated that districts complete a needs assessment. This needs assessment required districts to conduct individual school security assessments and submit schools' emergency operations plans (EOPs) and drill logs to the Tennessee Department of Education ("the department") in order to receive a portion of the funds. The department analyzed the school security assessments, EOPs, and drill logs--all of which were collected for the first time--with the goal of establishing a baseline for statewide safety needs and gathering information to drive future efforts to enhance school security and preparedness. Department actions to address the challenges identified during the review of safety data include: (1) Identify priorities for supporting districts and schools; (2) Revise EOP and drill log templates to enhance planning and improve documentation; (3) Create options for delivering training and guidance that provide flexibility and build local capacity; (4) Monitor grant spending and results to identify promising practices; and (5) Integrate safety planning requirements into the school approval process.
Tennessee Department of Education. Andrew Johnson Tower 6th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243-0375. Tel: 615-741-2731; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Tennessee Department of Education
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A