New rules aim to protect MNPS students and staff

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:30 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Several laws that go into effect today will impact our kids in public schools.

These new Tennessee education laws range from making it easier to hire teachers to addressing human trafficking.

According to End Slavery TN, the biggest indicators a young person has fallen victim to human trafficking are physical, like unexplained injuries, their possessions, like unexplained money, and behavior, such as fearing authority figures.

Other laws are aimed at blocking inappropriate content from school computers, as well as focusing on student achievement when it comes to teacher evaluations.

There are new rules prohibiting biological males from participating in girls’ sports for public grade schools and establishing a 10-point grading scales for high school.

Plus, retired Tennessee teachers will be able to get back in the classroom easier now. They can work in schools for up to one year while receiving 70% of their retirement allowance.

Hiring has been an ongoing issue for schools in Tennessee. In Maury County, some classes were forced to livestream lessons because a teacher was not available.

Maury County’s school board chairman, Michael Fulbright considers this new law a short-term fix and is calling on the state to make changes.

“Each county, each city, each district needs to look at their pay scale to make sure they are offering competitive wages,” Fulbright said. “When a teacher can leave a classroom and go to work at Sonic at a comparable wage, we’ve got some problems.”

The state is also addressing ways to combat human trafficking as training will now be required for all school staff members.

The founder of Operation Rose, Robert Young, said they have been doing these trainings in several private schools since the digital age is contributing to rising cases of human trafficking.

“It’s absolutely important that not only our politicians are taking note that this is a big problem, but also to parents that need to pay attention to what their kids are doing and getting into,” Young explained. “There’s, obviously, a big problem with the internet and if you are not up to speed on all of the apps that are being created daily, then you have no idea what your children are getting into.”

Young says most child predators are reaching out to kids on social media, if they have a phone or tablet, it might be a good idea to monitor it.

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