Local News

Story published: 01-15-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Leaders to discuss safety in schools, latest synthetic drug to hit the market

By Karen Sells
Assistant Editor

Commissioner Roger Nave has scheduled a called meeting of the Washington County Public Safety Committee to address security within schools as well as the dangers of a new synthetic drug.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. in the Zoning Administrator’s Office on the first floor of the courthouse in downtown Jonesborough.

Nave proposed the idea of a joint meeting with representatives from the schools and the sheriff’s office to discuss concerns related to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

During last week’s monthly Public Safety Committee meeting, Mayor Dan Eldridge said the schools should take the lead on identifying the measures needed to strengthen security in school buildings.

During a meeting on Jan. 3, one member of the Board of Education briefly discussed last month’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and several adults were killed in the school shooting.

“These last few weeks, it has been hard for me to think of the schools and students without thinking about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary,” Phillip McLain said. “We’ve got 9,000 kids, and I just think about how lucky we are that we haven’t had a major catastrophe.”

McLain said he hoped the board could work toward getting a school resource officer in every school, and that the state and county would help fund such a plan.

“I think it’s a positive step to help protect our kids,” he said.

Synthetic drugs also pose a continued threat to Washington County students. “Another new synthetic drug has been identified that is said to be more dangerous than the previous ones,” Nave said of the second agenda item.

Nave would like to have a resolution detailing plans to handle both safety issues for the full commission to consider during the meeting set for Monday, Jan. 28, at 9 a.m.