Gov. Lee’s executive order criticized as ‘not enough’ by Memphis state senator

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Monday morning, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed executive order 97 designed to enhance school safety. It’s an order in response to the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting and to prevent future attacks on school campuses.

However, Lee says the order does not address guns, something a Memphis state senator says is a clear miss.

“Our schools should be a safe place that we want our kids and the teachers and the staff to know that they can go to school and come back safely,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 97 is a three-part collaborative plan to increase existing school safety protocols while engaging parents and law enforcement.

The order creates a school safety resources and engagement guide for parents, providing information on how to raise safety concerns at their child’s school, access mental health resources, and report suspicious activity.

“Please take time to download The safeTN App,” said Lee. “This is a Space to confidentially report concerns of violence or threats in your school or community.”

Additionally, the order requires new active shooter training standards for law enforcement officers and more frequent unannounced security assessments to check for unlocked back doors in schools.

State Senator Raumesh Akbari calls the order a disappointment – and says the Governor isn’t doing enough to address gun violence.

“I would’ve liked to have seen some action around assault weapons, around open carry, around background checks, I don’t think the governor could’ve done it on his own. I think it will require legislation but I at least like to have seen commitment.”

Action News 5 reached out to multiple Mid-South school districts for reaction.

Millington Municipal Schools released a statement saying:

Memphis Shelby County School’s full statement:

School districts have until July 1 to submit their safety plan templates to the state.

The state Department of Education will send additional training materials for administrators no later than August 1.

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