School security improving, but it comes at a price - WSMV Channel 4

School security improving, but it comes at a price

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In the 16 months since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, nearly every elementary and middle school in the state has an armed officer patrolling the hallways.

"It's a two-day training, highly specialized, done by the federal government. We've run them through every scenario, statistically everything that was out there, and gave them a broader insight," said Terry Ashe, with the Tennessee Sheriff's Association.

But that extra layer security hasn't come cheap. Rutherford County now spends an extra $1.5 million a year on school resource officers. Williamson County added five times that many officers.

"They stepped up, found some funding, some at the school board level, some at the county commission level. Some are still struggling to find the funding to better protect our children," Ashe said.

Then, there's technology. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean allotted Metro Nashville Public Schools more than $5 million for cameras, iPhones and a special interlock system on the door of every single classroom.

"What interlock does is allow you to lock the door from inside. In the past, the only way to unlock the classroom door was to go outside," said James Wheeler, with Metro Schools.

The Rutherford County School System even has a screening system that cross-references a visitor's driver's license with the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

It cost $30,000, but many parents say it was well spent.

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