City Schools receive $470,662 federal grant for school safety

School security continues to be a high priority for school systems across the country, but with almost half a million dollars in grant money to spend towards security, a local school system is looking to see how best to improve the standard of safety and security they can provide for their community.

Elizabethton City Schools recently received a $470,662 grant towards improving safety and security conditions in city schools, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The grant, part of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) School Violence Prevention Program, awards roughly $25 million to various school systems around the country.

“I am very pleased the Elizabethton City School system was chosen as the only school in Tennessee to receive this grant,” City Schools Superintendent Corey Gardenhour said.

With roughly $470,000 up for spending on school security, officials are already working on possible ideas on how best to implement this new funding.

“This grant will help increase the level of safety by hardening the entrances and coupling with the SROs in every school,” he said.

The achievement was significant to receive special attention from federal congressman Phil Roe.

“Students should feel safe in the classroom, and no parent should worry about their child’s safety during the school day,” Roe said in a release. “I am pleased to see Elizabethton schools receive a […] grant to use improving the safety of the students and faculty in area schools.”

Roe said the grant will provide for a new level of safety for students of all ages.

“I hope through these upgraded security measures, students, parents and teachers will all feel safer in their learning environment,” he said.

Public Relations Coordinator Nicole Moore said it was wonderful news to hear they had received the grant, which the school system applied for before she took the position.

“As a parent and employee in the school system, I am excited to have better state of the art technology at all schools to improve all school security,” Moore said. “Safety is the number one priority to make the school safe and secure for students to learn and grow.”

Beyond the initial measures discussed, Moore said any further details will be up for discussion during their next board meeting, currently scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m.

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