Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's school safety working group gets underway

State has double the national rate of students caught with guns at schools

Students walk down the hallway Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at Falling Water Elementary School.

NASHVILLE - In a state that has just 865 school resource officers tasked with protecting an estimated 1 million students, Tennessee has double the national rate of kids caught bringing a gun or possessing one at school.

That sobering statistic and others were shared Thursday by state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen as Gov. Bill Haslam's working group on school safety got underway.

Haslam created the group this week with the goal of developing recommendations for the governor and state lawmakers to act on in the wake of the latest school shooting, this one at a Parkland, Fla., high school where 17 people, including students and faculty, died last month. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn in mid-April.

The goal is to improve school safety in areas ranging from better cooperation between educators and law enforcement to providing help to students with problems and improved control of school entrances and exits.