The School Safety Toolkit: Gov. Lee brought it to life, why his opponent feels it falls short

The toolkit was created to help educate parents how to manage their child’s safety at school.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 8:16 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Thursday morning, Gov. Bill Lee unveiled his School Safety Toolkit, aimed at helping equip parents as they send their children to school.

”This tool kit includes how to talk to your school about emergency plans how to report suspicious activity at your schools, and where to find important contacts and mental health resources,” said Lee in a recorded video.

The kit prepares and engages Tennessee parents on how safe their kids are when they send them off to school.

”You’ve got a lot on your plate and our hope is that this tool kit will make it easier to gain the information you need to feel confident that your student is safe at school,” said Lee.

The nine-page kit holds resources like the SafeTN app, mental health resources, and keys to what to look for in children if they show signs of disconnecting or troubling behavior.

“Today I want to speak directly to Tennessee parents. Earlier this year I signed an executive order to enhance school safety all across the state and one of our goals was to create a new resource and engagement guide for Tennessee families so today we’re launching the school safety tool kit,” said Lee.

Lee’s Democratic opponent in the November election felt the kit falls short.

”Governors tool kit is reactive its not proactive, it doesn’t deal with any of the roots of violence in our communities,” said Dr. Jason Martin.

Martin is running on a platform that includes the promise of fully funding public education.

Martin fell back on that campaign promise, reiterating how if he’s elected, he believes the fix would require more money in public education coffers.

”If we want to make our schools a safer place then we should fully fund public education and allow our teachers to teach our kids and that’s reading writing and arithmetic,” said Martin. “Let’s get some wrap-around services in schools for kids with needs and that’s mental health resources case workers, social workers and let’s get those resources to a greater extend and get those resources in schools.”