Nearly half of Tennessee’s schools have full-time guards. The number has grown dramatically in the year since the heartbreaking massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
The Tennessee Department of Education estimates about 60 more school resource officers – almost a 10 percent increase – and that number might not include all of them. It doesn’t include every school district in the state, and some officers aren’t assigned to schools full-time.
Justin Grogan, vice president of the Tennessee School Resource Officers Association, says it “seems like each week there’s more SROs.” And all of them, Grogan says, think about Sandy Hook daily.
“Every day I walk through the hallway and I check doors. I walk outside, make sure there’s no vehicle in the parking lot that’s not supposed to be there. If there’s a stranger on campus, you know, you’re checking for every little thing, and hoping and praying…”
TNSRO estimates there are now some 800 officers total. The state has about 1800 schools.