NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — School is back in full swing in Coffee County this morning! District leaders are excited because they know students will be safe thanks to new laws on the books.
Last year the district was the victim of several online threats. Now, there are stronger punishments for anyone caught making threats.
“Our security team has met earlier this week to make sure we’re gearing up and moving in the right direction. The state legislature passed some new requirements. We spent some time going over those new requirements like building requirements,” said Coffee County Director of Schools Charles Lawson.
One new state law says that by October 1st, every public and private school must submit a district-wide school safety plan, building level safety plan and floor plan. A bill that went into effect on July 1st makes it a “zero-tolerance offense for any Tennessee student to make threats of mass violence against a school. Students who make such threats will be expelled for at least a year.
The school’s director may modify an expulsion for threatening mass violence on a case-by-case basis, including cases where a student brings a gun to school, a student assaults a staff member, or a student has possession of any drug.
They want teachers to know they’re safe as well. Under the new law schools are required to pay a teacher their full salary and benefits if a teacher has missed work because of a personal injury caused by a physical assault or violent criminal act during the school day. They don’t need to use sick time.
Coffee County says they’ve sat down with teachers about this change as well. Kids eased into things with a half-day on Monday, today is their first full day back to the grind.
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