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Three East Tennessee school districts to get $1,391,296 for school violence prevention

U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey said that the City of Knoxville, Bradley County School District and Monroe County Schools will receive funds.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — East Tennessee schools will get funds to help educators address school violence, according to a release from the Department of Justice Thursday.

Officials said three school districts will get $1,391,296 to address school violence prevention: Bradley County School District, Monroe County Schools and the City of Knoxville. The money comes from a Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

The department announced that its School Violence Prevention program awarded nearly $50 million in grants Thursday. Officials said that Knoxville received $465,355.

In addition to awarding schools money to help them prevent school violence, officials also said they identified 10 essential actions that can be taken by schools, districts and law enforcement agencies to keep schools safe.

Those actions focus on both the physical safety of schools and the emotional security of both students and staff. They are listed below:

  1. Making a comprehensive school safety assessment
  2. Improving school climates
  3. Improving campus, building and classroom security
  4. Implementing anonymous reporting systems
  5. Coordinating with first responders
  6. Implementing behavior threat assessments and management
  7. Using school-based law enforcement
  8. Offering mental health resources
  9. Running drills to improve physical safety
  10. Monitoring social media

“With the new school year underway, the safety of our nation’s students remains paramount,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “Although this school year may look different at the start, now is the ideal time to make preparations to enhance school safety for when all of our children are back in the classroom.”

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