School safety improvements being discussed at Clarksville-Montgomery County schools

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (NOW CLARKSVILLE) – Although national attention is once again focused on school safety after 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, an increased conversation about school safety has continued since several months now in Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.

In a year already marred by issues of school violence, in April a parent of a student in the district was captured on security footage assaulting the principal of Glenellen Elementary School. .

At the monthly school board meeting on April 26, acting principal Angela Huff told board members that a meeting was underway with local law enforcement to address the issue.

CMCSS spokesman Anthony Johnson said a meeting was held with officials from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Clarksville Police Department. The meeting focused on improving de-escalation training for employees, developing a district-wide visitation policy, and discussing other ways to prevent assaults and improve safety. school, he said.

“Student safety has been, is, and always will be our top priority,” Johnson said in an email to Clarksville Now.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office requested additional school resource officers (SROs), but it was not a direct response to what happened in Glenellen, according to MCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Wojnarek.

“This was already happening before the escalation in behavior based on population and student numbers,” he said.

Regarding the safety meeting, Wojnarek said he expects to have more information about the school’s safety changes in the coming weeks.

What is already in place

Johnson said about 26 school safety plans and procedures are already in place at CMCSS. He also said the district has completed safety-based renovations to school building main entrances.

“The enhanced entrances provide increased security at building entrances. State grant funding also allowed us to add ballistic window films, bollards, supplemental exterior lighting, exterior door numbering, Knox boxes and camera stations,” Johnson wrote. “All CMCSS classroom doors have been fitted with push-button locks. This allows staff to quickly lock a classroom door in the event of an emergency.

Johnson said district staff regularly participate in safety training. Johnson said even the buses have panic buttons in case of an emergency.

As an additional level of protection, the neighborhood is under constant surveillance. “Hundreds of surveillance cameras are strategically positioned throughout all school system facilities,” he said.

Ongoing school shootings

News of school violence is always difficult for educators and school officials, Johnson said.

“I was in high school when the Columbine High School tragedy happened; a student at Virginia Tech; an elementary school teacher when Sandy Hook Elementary arrived; an administrator when our neighbors at Marshall County High School faced tragedy, followed by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Santa Fe High School during that same semester; and now Robb Elementary,” he said.

“As you know, there have been many other school shootings and acts of violence across the country. Our staff, teachers and administrators do not take these tragedies lightly, and every act of school violence is heartbreaking. »

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