Tennessee’s governor Thursday announced another addition to the Volunteer State’s newly upgraded school safety plans.
“Tennessee has done a lot of work this year to make our schools safer,” said Governor Bill Lee (R). “And today I want to speak directly to parents about a new tool just for them.”
“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,” he said. “So, today we’re launching the School Safety Toolkit, a one-stop shop to help you prepare and engage in your child’s school safety.”
Lee said the toolkit includes information about how parents can talk to their children’s schools about emergency preparedness plans, how to report suspicious activities at schools, and how to find important school contacts and mental health resources.
“You’ve got a lot on your plate, and our hope is that this toolkit will make it easier to get the information that you need to feel confident that your student is safe at school,” Lee said.
The Safety Toolkit includes quick tips for parents to get involved in their children’s academic lives. It says:
- Seek opportunities to serve on your child’s school district school health advisory committee and develop actionable goals to support safety, health, and overall well-being.
- Partner with your parent-teacher organization and local law enforcement (School Resource Officers) to host a school safety family night/forum that brings awareness around school safety policies, procedures, bullying, suicide prevention, and social media engagement.
- Modeling self-care and optimism can play a significant role in a child’s wellbeing. Provide reassurance, support, and reaffirm safety to help foster resilience.
- Protecting our children on the internet can be difficult. For valuable tips and resources on internet safety visit Internet Safety.
A large part of the toolkit is the new SafeTN Application for parents and students, which was unveiled by Lee’s administration in August.
“SafeTN is a secure, open door communications platform where you can send in tips and access useful resources to help keep your school and community safe,” according to Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
The Department continued:
With our anonymous reporting system, students, faculty, parents, and the public can easily and confidentially report their concerns to help prevent violence in our schools and our communities. Tips can be submitted 24/7 through the mobile app from any compatible device.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will review, assess, and then send all submissions to law enforcement, mental health crisis response teams, and/or school administrators for intervention based on the information received.
The Toolkit and the SafeTN application were both implemented after Lee signed Executive Order 97 to ““engage and advocate for safe conditions at their child’s school, including how to report suspicious or concerning activity.”
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