The decision to add “toy gun” verbiage to school policy was approved Thursday for a second reading during the Rutherford County Board of Education meeting.
After a controversial incident at Barfield Elementary School caused local parents to become concerned, Director of Schools Don Odom said the board needed to take a closer look at the state’s zero tolerance policy and possibly make an amendment.
During a School Board meeting Thursday night, Odom said he and all school board members took child safety very seriously, and due to the poignant parent outcry, adding “toy guns” to the policy seemed like the best option.
Odom said toy guns without projectile capability have not previously violated the state’s zero tolerance policy, but with the proposed policy amendment it will be punishable by suspension in the future.
“We are going to be as proactive as we possibly can in addressing these issues,” Odom said. “I’m going to assure you that this board and I are going to respond to this within the legal constraints of government. We are not going to overlook this.”
While this amendment awaits a second reading, Odom said he is confident it will pass.
He also stressed the importance of child safety, noting he plans to take more steps to ensure that all faculty and administrators are properly trained in both cultural and policy procedures.
For in-depth coverage of this story, pick a copy of the Sunday, Nov. 18, print edition of The Murfreesboro Post.