School Resource Officer - Ooltewah Elementary

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With school shootings and threats becoming more and more prevalent throughout the country and our local area, and with the recent threat that was made by a student of Ooltewah Elementary, it is evident that some additional security measures need to be taken by Ooltewah Elementary and Hamilton County to ensure the safety and security of our children.

After talking to Mr. Tom Arnold (Principal-Ooltewah Elementary) this morning, I understand that several measures will be taken by Hamilton County by September of 2018, including a check in system that scans an individual's drivers license to perform a background check before that person is allowed to enter the school as well as a camera security system that would allow the front office to see who is entering the school before a person is allowed to enter.

While these measures are all a step in the right direction, I believe that Ooltewah Elementary as well as all schools in Hamilton County should have a SRO (School Resource Officer) for additional security. While this is commonplace in most high schools and middle schools in the county, very few elementary schools have a SRO, including Ooltewah Elementary. In many other counties and school districts (of similar size to Hamilton County), all schools (including elementary schools) have an assigned SRO. Mr. Arnold said that he has spoken to his superiors and Dr. Steve Highlander (Chairman of the District 9 School Board) about the need for a SRO on several occasions, but until now, he isn't aware of any action that has been taken to allocate funding for this position.

Please help me ensure that our children are given the safety and security they need while allowing administrators and educators to continue focusing on providing a high quality education for our children. 

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