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Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order aimed at enhancing school safety and guiding parents on how to weigh in on school building security on Monday.
Executive Order 97 creates a guide for parents on how to contact school administrators and local law enforcement to improve security. Lee called on schools to implement “simple practices,” such as ensuring a single point of entry to the school and multiple points of exit.
“Parents need to have full confidence that their children are safe at school, and thankfully, Tennessee has built a firm foundation with our practical approach to securing schools, recognizing crisis and providing confidential reporting of any suspicious activity,” Lee said in a statement.
“This order strengthens accountability and transparency around existing school safety planning and assures Tennessee parents that our efforts to protect students and teachers will continue.” he added.
A police officer comforts family members at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday, May 26. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
The order comes weeks after a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The shooting has sparked yet another fierce debate over how to prevent such attacks. Democrats argue widespread gun confiscations and other gun control measures are essential, while Republicans have called for more robust security at schools.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed a Republican safety bill in late May, pointing out that there were officers on the scene of the Uvalde shooting and they did nothing.
“The truth: There were officers at the school in Texas,” Schumer tweeted. “The shooter got past them. We need real solutions—We will vote on gun legislation starting with the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act.”
Details of police incompetence in Uvalde have outraged many Americans. Officers stood outside the classroom where the gunman was murdering children and teachers for more than 40 minutes before breaching.