TN students who make ‘mass violence’ threats will face one-year expulsion

The new law came into effect at the beginning of July.
Now, a threat of mass violence against a school is in violation of a “zero-tolerance policy.”
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 9:09 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - At the beginning of July, a new law went into effect requiring stricter penalties for students who make threats of mass violence against schools.

The Tennessee Legislature made a new law that would expel a student for no less than one calendar year if a student violated a zero-tolerance offense. A zero-tolerance offense, according to the new law, is one of the following:

  • A student brings or has an unauthorized firearm on school property
  • A student commits aggravated assault or assault on a teacher, principal, administrator or any other employee of an LEA or a school resource officer.
  • A student has unlawful possession of any drug on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event.

On March 13, the Tennessee Legislature added an amendment that included the following as a part of the zero-tolerance offenses:

“A student threatened mass violence, meaning an act which a reasonable person could conclude would lead to serious bodily injury or death of two or more persons, on school property or at a school-related activity.”

The Tennessee Legislature said that a director of schools may modify an expulsion on a case-by-case basis.