Franklin-Simpson Schools Looking to Increase Safety

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

The Franklin-Simpson Superintendent says it was the Columbine Shooting that struck fear and worry inside of our nation's schools.

The 1999 shooting resulted in schools cracking down on safety.

And more than a decade later, Sandy Hook would re-energize that need for safety in schools.

Franklin-Simpson High School, City, and county officials discussed ideas today for a safer school environment.

It was a day full of comparisons.

"The perpetrator at Newtown came in and shot the glass out of the door. So, that kind of glass wouldn't do that is that what I'm hearing," Superintendent Jim Flynn said as he addressed county and city officials.

Like several others nationwide, officials are putting their heads together to try to prevent what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"The terrible tragedy in Newtown, CT has heightened everyone's awareness about this and has caused us to think about other ways we can step us our school safety measures to be proactive and preventative and then very prepared if there were an incident," Flynn said.

"I think the one thing we all agreed on today as far as the response time is keeping something like that outside the school long enough to come in and let us respond," said Simpson County Sheriff Chris Cline.

The group bounced ideas like bullet proof glass, additional doors, and a possible buzzer system to grant guest access.

But, law enforcement officials agree there is only one thing that could prevent school shootings permanently.

"The more personnel we can put in schools, the better it will be for everybody," said Lt. Art McFadden of Franklin Police.

"That's the only true way to effectively handle a situation like that," Sheriff Cline said.

County Judge Executive Jim Henderson says the school really started to develop more safety measures after Columbine, but Sandy Hook has made the need even stronger.

"We've taken some measures since then that have really improved our school safety, but I think these kinds of issues cause you to reflect and think about things that need to be done differently," he said.

Flynn says his goal for the school system is to be as safe and as comfortable as possible.

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