House Passes Bills Allowing County Mayors to Have Exclusive Authority in Health Emergencies and Teachers to Remove Problematic Students

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The Tennessee House passed two bills expanding the authority of county mayors and teachers in exigent situations. Both were approved on Monday and are awaiting passage in the Senate.

Under HB0007, county-wide policy-making powers related to public health emergencies would be reserved solely for the county mayor in counties with particular population counts. The bill would only apply to Shelby, Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Sullivan, and Madison counties. Those six counties would also see their county boards of health or county health committees demoted to advisory roles. State Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) (pictured right) introduced the bill last November. It passed 67-26.

It’s not just the state government considering this change. The Knox County Commission has been considering a similar measure to reduce the Knox County Board of Health’s powers. After its initial vote to strip the board of its emergency powers, the commission stalled during the final vote by delaying their decision. The commission is expected to take up that vote again on April 26. It is unclear whether the local commission or the Senate will be the first, if either, to advance on those measures.

As reported previously by The Tennessee StarHB0016 or the “Teacher’s Discipline Act” would ensure that teachers have the authority to remove problematic students from their classrooms or certain situations in which the student has become disruptive or dangerous. State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) (pictured left) introduced the bill in December. It passed 81-15.

Current provisions in the law concerning a teacher’s authority to relocate problematic students defers the decision to local boards of education as to whether or not teachers may use reasonable or justifiable force.

The bill concerning county mayor authority is awaiting assignment in the Senate. As for the Teacher’s Discipline Act, the Senate may vote on the bill in the near future – it was recommended for passage in committee.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Thoughts to “House Passes Bills Allowing County Mayors to Have Exclusive Authority in Health Emergencies and Teachers to Remove Problematic Students”

  1. 83ragtop50

    NO! Do not give local tinhorn bureaucrats more authority over our lives. I absolutely refuse to fall in line for all of the “stuff” that Anthony Holt has placed upon Sumner County residents. The guy makes snake oil salesmen look legit. Lee should be drummed out of the capitol for giving authority to these small time tyrants.

  2. Wolf Woman

    Do I understand that this bill gives a Socialist like Nashville mayor John Cooper, and others of his ideological persuasion, policy making powers to hold us hostage and completely control our lives (even more than he did) the next time any virus comes down the pike? What are you thinking, Rep. Zachary?

  3. Kevin

    This may be OK, in theory. Non-elected Health bureaucrats shouldn’t be able to take our God-given rights away from us under any circumstances. But under whose authority does any County or State executive, or Legislative authority get to do it, except in a very short term, well defined, time bound event, like a tornado or a flood?

  4. Ms Independent

    Can problematic teachers be removed as well?

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