Tennessee schools director says ‘I have other things to worry about’ than school safety

During a board meeting on Thursday night, the Director of Schools for Grundy County, Tennessee, Dr. Clint Durley, had to retract a statement he made about school safety.

In response to a heated discussion about whether or not to have school resource officers (SROs) at every school, Durley remarked that he had “other things to do than worrying about our schools being secure.” However, he quickly apologized for his statement.

“How about you let the Sheriff and his officers protect our children and community? Instead, you hire rent-a-cops with no formal training,” someone said at the Grundy County School Board meeting on Thursday.

In response, Durley said: “I’m at a point where I have other things to worry about, other things to do than worrying about our schools being secure. That didn’t come out right. It is a concern of mine for the schools to be secure, I apologize.”

Last month, SROs were still absent due to a contract dispute between the sheriff and the director of schools’ office. The contract remains unsigned, but the sheriff’s office has agreed to let deputies patrol the schools until it is resolved.

After the deadly shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville in March, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has been advocating for state funding to provide an armed officer in every public school.

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