JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is proposing over $200 million to increase school security across the state.
The majority of the funds would be used to put an armed guard in every school in Tennessee.
Washington County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Boyd said that this would be beneficial to the district. He explained that it’s a goal to add more resource officers to the high schools.
Boyd said that’s due to the larger size of the building compared to middle and elementary schools.
“The commitment is to add an additional assurance,” Boyd explained. “At least one additional at both high schools.”
The Governor’s proposal has the support of Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport). Hulsey said the best way to keep schools secure is by adding school resource officers.
“What does work is when you make the target so hard that somebody can’t get in it,” Hulsey said. “I do think hardening a school up is the best solution.”
$8 million of the proposal would add behavioral health liaisons across the state. Dr. Boyd emphasized the importance of improving the mental health of students and said this is much needed.
“We have students seven hours a day,” Boyd explained. “But the issues and circumstances are twenty-four seven.”
$30 million of the proposal would go toward 122 homeland security agents that would serve every county in Tennessee.
Additional proposed legislation from Gov. Lee would require public and private schools to develop annual safety plans.