Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Discusses Ongoing Federal Mask Mandate in Knox County Schools and Gumgate

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to weigh in on the continuation of federal mask mandates and new federal law banning gum chewing in schools.

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Knox County Schools Close for Remainder of Week, Cite Illness-Related Staffing Issues

Knox County Schools (KCS) will close for the remainder of the week due to illness-related staffing shortages, according to a release from the district.

The closure, likely connected to the rise in coronavirus cases in the state, will grant students and staff members two days off, in addition to the weekend. 

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Knox County Schools Approved East Tennessee State University Dual Enrollment Course That Taught Critical Race Theory

ETSU Library

Knox County Schools (KCS) approved a dual enrollment course from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) that has historically taught critical race theory. The KCS board of education approved the course offering, “SOWK 1030: Cultural Diversity,” as part of a larger list of ETSU dual enrollment courses during their meeting last week.

The course is characterized as pre-professional social work curriculum focused on social justice topics such as “diversity within diversity,” referring to intersectionality – a concept coined by preeminent critical race theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw.

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Knox County School Board Considering Hire of Outside Consultant to Decide on Putting Law Enforcement Back in Schools; Mayor Says It’s a ‘Waste of Taxpayer Dollars’

The Knox County Schools (KCS) Board of Education is considering whether to hire an outside consultant for reinstating law enforcement in their schools. In a letter submitted to the Knox County Board of Education (KCBOE) last week, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said that the proposed facilitator would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“Please let this letter serve as official notification that I strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to pay an outside consulting firm to tell the district what every parent in Knox County already knows: armed law enforcement officers are a necessity in schools,” wrote Jacobs. “[I] simply cannot ignore that physical security is absolutely critical in keeping our students safe at school. I am deeply disturbed that any governmental body would even consider removing law enforcement from any of our schools.”

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Knoxville Mayor Removes Police from Schools After Police Shot, Killed Armed High School Student

Mayor Indya Kincannon

Knoxville schools will no longer have a police presence, per a joint letter issued by Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and the Knoxville Police Department (KPD). The mayor and KPD pulled the plug on an agreement in which KPD supplied officers as security for Knox County Schools (KCS).

KPD officers will be pulled from schools by June 12 – the latest date of graduations occurring. The letter explained that KCS’s internal security and mental health professionals have grown since the agreement took place, making it unnecessary to have KPD assistance.

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Creative Math By Knox County Schools and Gannett Reporter Imply State Cut District Spending By $6M When In Fact Contribution Increased By That Amount

A Knoxville News-Sentinel reporter last week shared the local school superintendent’s creative math to accuse Gov. Bill Lee of cutting education spending by nearly $6 million, when in fact the state’s BEP contribution had increased by that amount. On April 1, reporter Tyler Whetstone tweeted, “New today – @GovBillLee‘s BEP…

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Knox County Schools Spending $170,000 on ‘Cultural Competency’ In-Service Training for Teachers and Staff This Year

Knox County Schools are spending $170,000 out of their $928,677 in-service budget on “cultural competency” training for teachers even as the Williamson County School System uses increased expenditures to tell white teachers they are over-privileged. Knox County’s Fiscal Year 2019 expense is in the KCS General Purpose School Fund, under…

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Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero Successfully Presses School Board to Maintain Explicit Protections for Gender and Sexual Orientation

Editor’s update:  Despite the risks associated with maintaining the creation of additional, vaguely defined “protected classes,” the Knox County school board acquiesced to Mayor Madeline Rogero’s wishes and voted Wednesday night to keep the extended language in the employee and student handbooks with regards to the school system’s harassment policy. New…

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