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Austin-East students return to school building for classes, standardized testing

This is the first time students will be learning in the classroom since one of their classmates was killed in the bathroom at the school.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 2:05 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In-person classes resumed for students at Austin-East Magnet High School on Thursday. This is the first time students returned to the classroom after one of their classmates was killed in the bathroom at the school.

Tapes released by the District Attorney’s office show Anthony Thompson Jr. throughout the school day on April 12th. He appeared to move freely about the school while other students were in class. He exited and entered the building a few times.

Knoxville Police Department officers confronted Thompson Jr. in the men’s bathroom about a domestic abuse incident. Anthony’s weapon fired once, but hit a trash can. Officer Jonathan Clabough fired his weapon twice, striking Officer Adam Willson and Anthony Thompson Jr.

Officer Willson was taken to the hospital. He underwent surgery and KPD announced he is now home resting.

Following the shooting incident, school officials announced numerous changes to the security protocol.

The school’s plan includes metal detector wands that will be used on students before they enter the building. Alarms will now be placed at each entrance and exit of the building. The school also plans to limit access to the building and have an increased security presence.

Austin-East will continue the clear bag policy implemented on March 8th throughout the remainder of the school year.

State-wide testing for the students began Thursday.

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