KCS Board of Education talks hiring a facilitator to mediate school security decisions

A vote on whether or not a facilitator would be hired for the district will take place next week.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 11:05 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -In Wednesday’s work session meeting, the Knox County Schools Board of Education once again came to the table to talk about ways to keep schools safe.

After weeks and weeks of talks, they’ve finally landed on trying to implement a facilitator into the discussion of what school security should look like in Knox County Schools. According to board members, a facilitator wouldn’t be making decisions but rather would help gage what the public wants to see in school security and bring those concerns to the board while also hearing what members want.

In preliminary talks, the board said Superintendent Bob Thomas would be the one who appoints this person.

Board member Daniel Watson says in previous meetings, it seemed that it was unanimous that a facilitator was needed, but now that might not be the case.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs wrote a letter to the board May 26 saying he does not approve of attempting to hire a facilitator because he believes taxpayer money shouldn’t be spent on this. Jacobs goes on to say community members can already voice their concerns by reaching out to their zoned board members through phone calls and emails.

Watson feels that it is necessary to have a facilitator to add more transparency and trust to the community who has voiced their hesitancy for having police presence in schools to begin with. The Board of Education has never had any indication that they won’t have law enforcement in schools, in fact they have said quite the opposite.

A vote on whether or not a facilitator would be hired for the district will take place next week.

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