Knox school security meeting moved to Friday

12:38 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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A meeting on Knox County Schools security has been moved to Friday, after controversy over whether that meeting should be open to the public and the meeting.

School Board Chair Karen Carson called the meeting of local leaders  to discuss issues and potential solutions regarding electronic school security systems in the Knox County Schools.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 pm, and early Tuesday, it was unclear whether the meeting would be closed to the public and media.

Mayor Tim Burchett issued a press release, saying he would not attend if the meeting wasn't open according to the state's Sunshine Law. (See his full statement below)

Tuesday afternoon, Knox County Schools issued a press release saying the meeting was moved to Friday at 4 pm, in order to allow for appropriate public notice.  The meeting will be in the first floor board room of the Andrew Johnson Building, and will be open to the public and media.

The following leaders have been invited to attend the meeting:

• Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett
• Knox County Commission Chair Tony Norman
• Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong
• Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones
• Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch
• Dale Smith, CEO of the Public Building Authority
• Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of the Knox County Schools

"In light of the interest in school security, this will be a public meeting," said Carson. "I am looking forward to discussing various security-related concerns with all parties involved to help ensure the best decisions are made in providing a safe learning environment for our students and educators."

The meeting will be will be broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 10, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, and streamed live at www.knoxschools.org.

There will be a Community Forum meeting centered on student safety and school security on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 6 p.m. at Amherst Elementary School located at 5101 Schaad Road.

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The Knox County Board of Education says a meeting on security concerns Tuesday will be open to the public.

Knox County School Board Chair Karen Carson and Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre will meet with the sheriff, police chief, county mayor and the Public Building Authority's top official this afternoon.

The meeting is an effort to get everyone on the same page on security issues and move forward.

On Monday, Knox County Commissioners questioned McIntyre and Carson about whether they overstated how well current school security issues were fixed.

At first, it was unclear whether Tuesday's meeting would be open.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett released a statement this morning, saying he would boycott the meeting if it were closed.
 
He released the following statement:

"I am calling on Knox County Board of Education Chair Karen Carson to sunshine the planned security meeting in order to allow all parties to be at the table.

Although not required, this meeting should be sunshined so that the Board of Education, County Commission and the PBA Board are not limited to sending a single representative from each body. Given the importance of this issue, there is no reason we cannot wait until Thursday or Friday to ensure the meeting is conducted in the most transparent way possible.

If the school administration and the board decide to move forward with a meeting that is open to the media and public but limited to a single representative from each board, I might consider participating, but would be very disappointed."
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