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School Safety Roundtable: How Anderson County officials are working to keep children safe (WATE)

Posted Date: 10/25/2023


CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — Everyday, parents send their children to school, trusting school officials and local law enforcement to keep their children safe while they learn.

While specific procedures vary from between school districts and individual schools, WATE’s Bo Williams and Alison Smith sat down with Anderson County officials to address the questions parents have about what officials do every day to keep students safe, and what measures they have in place if the unthinkable happens.

Anderson County Schools Director Of Schools Dr. Tim Parrott, Assistant Director Of Schools Greg Deal, Anderson County High School Principal Ben Downs, Anderson County Sheriff Russell BarkerChief Deputy Brian Galloway and Director Of Technology Wade Haney joined Williams and Smith, sharing the intricacies that come along with making schools as safe as possible without making them unwelcoming environments for the students.

The topic of school safety is prominent every year, but the Covenant School shooting in Nashville on March 27, 2023, has made the topic of school shootings and threats even more scrutinized. Some local school systems have utilized anonymous tip lines as well as internal communication systems, allowing the school and law enforcement to react immediately. 

In August, a tip made on one of those tip lines was investigated by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and was found to be not credible. During the roundtable, Barker explained more details about the specific call and how the school and sheriff’s office responded.