The tragic event that happened at the Covenant School in Nashville has prompted Tennessee's Republican senators to demand for immediate action to improve school security. In response, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty will introduce legislation called the Securing Aid for Every School (SAFE) Act. This act will establish a $900 million grant program for public and private schools to train and employ veterans, retired law enforcement personnel, and off-duty law enforcement officers as school safety officers. Senator Blackburn has worked on similar legislation in the past and believes that schools need to be places where children feel safe.
NEW: Senators Blackburn and Hagerty will introduce the SAFE Act to establish a $900M grant program to help public + private schools harden physical security and hire/train veterans and former/off-duty law enforcement officers to protect students.https://t.co/DEMOvXytCE
— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) March 30, 2023
In a statement, Blackburn stated, “children should be able to learn, play, and be themselves in a safe environment at school. My legislation with Senator Hagerty will let public and private schools to train and employ veterans and ex law enforcement officers as school safety officers, as well as strengthen physical security measures to fortify schools.” Senator Hagerty agrees, calling the tragedy an “unspeakable, heartbreaking loss.” He added that it underscores the need for school security planning and personnel.
I am devastated by the horrific shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville. Violence against children is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 30, 2023
The push for improved protection in schools isn't limited to the Senators. Other influential figures, including Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, and law enforcement officials, are advocating for the SAFE Act as well. According to Director David Rausch of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the SAFE Act is just one component of a larger dialogue needed to reduce senseless violence. He contends that increasing the presence of trained and armed professionals in schools will act as a deterrent and prevent such assaults.
The SAFE Act not only enhances safety measures but also serves as a preventive measure against violence. As evident from the Nashville incident, the perpetrator chose the Covenant School as it lacked sufficient security protocols. Implementing a legislation like the SAFE Act will assist schools in implementing effective security measures and safeguarding their students.
Following the devastating incident in Nashville, it's evident that immediate action is required to ensure students' safety. The introduction of the SAFE Act represents a crucial initial effort towards creating a secure learning environment for students. It's high time that we unite to safeguard our valuable children and fortify our schools.