Mayor calls for Metro Schools to spend on security - WSMV News 4

Mayor calls for Metro Schools to spend on security

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Nashville's mayor wants to spend more money securing the city's schools.

Mayor Karl Dean sent a letter Thursday to Dr. Jesse Register, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, calling for more than $5 million in safety improvements.

"I would urge the Board of Education to immediately reallocate previously approved capital dollars for such items as classroom door security, upgraded digital closed circuit TV security systems, video recording and surveillance," Dean said in the letter.

The mayor said it may create a temporary hardship to put off other planned improvement projects, but security should take priority and those projects will likely be included in the next budget.

"I think it demonstrates that the Mayor shares our commitment to safety in our schools," said school board member Amy Frogge.

Frogge said she doesn't believe the request is entirely in response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

In fact, she said district leaders have been working on ways to shore up safety in the schools for years. This just allows them to speed up the process.

"We currently have limited access to our schools. We are looking at cameras at all the front doors, double door security. We're also reviewing our policies and just ensuring that all of the schools are following the policies as close as possible," Frogge said.

However, Frogge said those plans do not include arming teachers - an idea other Middle Tennessee school districts have considered.

"We do have some school resource officers available. There has been some talk about coordinating our efforts with police officers and emergency services, but we are not looking at arming teachers at this point," she said.

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