School board to revisit ‘cops in schools’

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

One could use all the fingers on one hand pointing blame for the shooting death of 17-year-old Anthony Thompson Jr. on April 12 at Austin-East High School. Let’s not go there.


Instead, let’s look at a resolution set for discussion at the Wednesday, May 5, school board workshop and a possible vote at the BOE’s regular meeting on May 12.

Daniel Watson

Board members Daniel Watson and Evetty Satterfield are calling for a committee to review and revise with public input the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that allows police to operate in schools without supervision by school officials.

Watson outlines the history of the MOA: Watson Statement and provides a copy of the resolution: Watson_Satterfield Resolution

He said he’s been working on this since 2020 and believes the policy should be continuously reviewed. Ten community groups including the NAACP, the Knox County Education Association and the League of Women Voters requested a delay for public input before the MOA was most recently adopted in 2019. In a letter from the Rev. John A. Butler, the groups said the MOA had been developed “largely behind closed doors and without meaningful opportunity for questions, comments or input from the public.” The full letter: 2019 Coalition MOA letter

This discussion needs to happen.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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