General Assembly Approves Watson's School Security Act

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday voted to approve House Bill 6, referred to as the “School Security Act of 2013". The bill, sponsored by Rep. Eric Watson (R–Cleveland), "seeks to prevent school violence by providing faculty with the resources needed to protect Tennessee students."

The bill gives the option to a school district to hire security personnel, such as law enforcement, retired law enforcement, veterans, or a staff member who is willing to serve as a security staff member to protect the schools.

Rep. Watson said, "I am appreciative of my colleagues for their 82–15 vote. I have been committed in my efforts to give parents, children, and school employee’s peace of mind and have pledged to ensure that the local education agencies have the tools needed. This legislation would not only provide that, but it also will allow for an important measure of defense for protecting students and faculty should the need arise during the school day.

”From Governor Haslam, to the Department of Education, Department of Commerce and Insurance, Sheriffs Association, school boards, chiefs of police, the Tennessee Education Association, the Professional Educators of Tennessee, and the NRA, have all shown their support for this legislation."

The bill on Thursday morning passed 27 to 6 in the Senate under sponsorship of Senator Frank Niceley. From this point, it will head to the governor for his signature.

Governor Haslam has included $34 million (recurring) in BEP money that schools could use for this purpose should they choose to do so. The local school districts will not only have the opportunity to enact this permissive legislation, but they also have the option to add qualifications and requirements as they see fit.

Eric Watson is Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee and serving his fifth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He lives in Cleveland and represents District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk, and Bradley County.


Chattanooga Police Seek 2 Theft And Fraud Suspects

The Chattanooga Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying two theft/fraud suspects who were captured on camera walking into businesses in the downtown area, stealing purses and other personal items.  The suspects then used the cash and credit cards they stole to purchase over $10,000 in Walmart gift cards. Investigators with the Fraud Unit need assistance ... (click for more)

Bessie Smith Cultural Center Selects Auditing Firm

The board of directors of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center has contracted with an independent auditing firm to review the financial records of the organization and make recommendations on improved financial controls. The firm of Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC has been selected. In addition, the board established a community panel to review the current policies and ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Sacramento Gold Saturday At 7:30

The Chattanooga Football Club will host yet another playoff soccer game on Saturday as Sacramento Gold comes to town in the National NPSL final four semifinal game.  The NPSL National semifinals are powered by Mitre.  Midwest region champions Lansing United will play Northeast region champions Red Buls U23s in New York on Sunday in the other semifinal match.  The ... (click for more)

Montgomery Stops Lookouts Thursday, 6-4

The Chattanooga Lookouts jumped out to an early lead, but committed four errors on their way to a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Montgomery Biscuits. Recap Lookouts' center fielder Darnell Sweeney started the game on a positive note for Chattanooga, leading off the bottom of the first with a single. Noel Cuevas followed up Sweeney's single with a line drive base hit of ... (click for more)