schools

Black cites violent films, porn as ‘root causes’ for school shootings

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) speaks at a Republican event in Nashville on May 7, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Violent movies and pornography are causes for school shootings, Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black told ministers last week.

“Pornography. It’s available. It’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store. Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there,” Black said according to an audio recording  obtained by the Huffington Post. “All of this is available without parental guidance, and I think that is a big part of the root cause that we see so many young people that have mental illness caught in these places.”

 The congresswoman from Gallatin was speaking to ministers at Safe Harbor in Clarksville.  She said the “deterioration of the family” and and the lack of a good support system was causing children go go astray.

“What do they say about idle hands?” she said. “The devil’s workshop.”

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TBI says reports of school crime on the increase

News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a new study today, detailing the volume and nature of crime on K-12 campuses across the state. The annual report compiles three years of crime data submitted to TBI by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS).

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Senate panel quietly kills latest version of transgender bathroom bill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday quietly killed a bill requiring the state attorney general to represent public school systems when they face lawsuits over sex-linked bathroom policies or, if he declines, that the state instead pay the legal fees of private attorneys.

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House committee kills bill authorizing teachers to carry guns; ‘School Safety Act’ advances

A  bill authorizing teachers to carry guns in classrooms was voted down in a House committee Tuesday after an outpouring of opposition following earlier approval in a subcommittee. Only four members of the 13-member House Education and Planning Committee had themselves recorded as voting in favor of the bill sponsored by Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) as it was defeated on a voice vote.

On the other hand, the “School Safety Act of 2018,” which would to provide more funding to hire off-duty law enforcement officers to patrol schools (HB2129, as amended) has won approval in committees of both the House and Senate. The measure, introduced originally as a caption bill, is sponsored by Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Gray) and Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City).

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Haslam pushes security assessment of all schools, anonymous threat reporting system

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced his approval of recommendations submitted by the school safety working group he appointed earlier this month to make immediate enhancements to school safety. The working group identified three immediate priorities:

1.      A review and risk assessment of all school facilities to identify vulnerabilities;

2.      An increase in available resources to help secure school resource officers (SROs); and

3.      A statewide technology application for anonymous reporting of security threats.

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Bill to arm TN teachers advances; sponsor says Haslam school safety plan not enough

A controversial bill that would let designated Tennessee educators go armed in schools cleared another House hurdle Tuesday, despite concerns raised by law enforcement officials and others, reports the Times Free Press.

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Report finds 109 TN school districts allow corporal punishment; legislature eyes new restrictions

A report from the state Comptroller’s Office says that 109 of the state’s 148 school districts still allow corporal punishment, though it’s rarely used in some of them. The report, requested by state legislators last year, also found that students suffering disabilities more often get corporal punishment than others.

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Reports of guns in TN schools running at double national average

Tennessee has double the national rate of kids caught bringing a gun or possessing one at school, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told the opening session of Gov. Bill Haslam’s working group on school safety on Thursday. At the same time, the state currently has just 865 school resource officers assigned to protect an estimated 1 million children in the state’s schools.

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Legislature poised to mandate “In God We Trust” signs in all TN schools

A bill mandating “prominent” display of the words “in God we trust” in all Tennessee schools was approved unanimously without debate in the state Senate and got only one recorded ‘no’ vote in clearing House committees as it heads to a floor vote.

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Haslam spokeswoman: ‘Political affiliation did not play a role’ in appointing school safety panel

Through a spokeswoman, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is pushing back against criticism of his appointments to a  task force assigned to study school safety and recommend revisions in state laws or policy, reports the Times Free Press. Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris has been the lead critic, saying the 16-member panel is solid Republican with no Democratic members “where a bipartisan consensus is sorely needed.”

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