Governor Haslam Forms School Safety Review Panel

Posted at 3:29 PM, Mar 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-05 16:29:28-05

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has formed a panel to review school safety in Tennessee and recommend improvements.

On Monday, Haslam's office said the group includes executive branch, General Assembly, safety, education and mental health leaders.

Haslam's office said the group will convene this week to review school safety policies and collaboration among law enforcement, educators and mental health professionals, among other study areas.

Haslam's office mentioned school entry and exit, school resource officer training and availability, and in-school student mental health resources.

Haslam expects the group's first recommendations before the legislative session's conclusion, which is likely in April.

Haslam supports banning bump stocks and increasing the minimum age to buy semi-automatic weapons to 21. He said he doesn't think arming more teachers is the answer.

The Governor’s School Safety Working Group will be chaired by Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David Purkey and includes the following additional members:

  • Greg Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Office of the Governor
  • Sen. Paul Bailey
  • Rep. David Byrd
  • Sen. Dolores Gresham
  • Sheriff John Fuson, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
  • Mike Herrmann, Executive Director of Conditions for Learning, Department of Education
  • Sgt. Jeff Hicks, School Resource Officer Supervisor, Blount County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, U.S. Army, Retired
  • Abbey Kidwell, Teacher, South Clinton Elementary School, Clinton City Schools
  • Candice McQueen, Commissioner, Department of Education
  • Cindy Minnis, School Psychologist, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Dr. Jack Parton, Superintendent, Sevier County Schools
  • Dr. Altha Stewart, University of Tennessee, Incoming President of American Psychiatric Association
  • Dr. Sonia Stewart,  Principal, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Marie Williams, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Rep. Ryan Williams