School safety is hot topic at Hamilton County school board meeting

In this Thursday, July 20, 2017, staff file photo, school board members Rhonda Thurman, left, and David Testerman discuss a school Partnership Zone proposal during a Hamilton County Board of Education meeting in Chattanooga.

How Hamilton County Schools can ensure student safety, including what place guns have on school grounds, was one of the agenda items at Thursday's school board work session.

Board of Education member Rhonda Thurman introduced the subject with her main concern - the possibility of arming teachers and school staff members.

Thurman called for continued dialogue with local law enforcement officials.

"I do know that you and [Superintendent Bryan] Johnson did meet with [Hamilton County Sheriff Jim] Hammond about guns on school grounds," Thurman said to board Chairman Steve Highlander. "I'd like the board to join in on that conversation."

Highlander confirmed again that he and Superintendent Bryan Johnson have talked with Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond about school safety, which the Times Free Press reported last week.