Sandy Hook catapults school safety to top of county agenda10:27 am | December 31, 2013
While much of 2013’s county news was centered upon Mother Nature’s unpredictable impact on homeowners and the environment, news based on Carter County officials’ decisions drew the most attention.
One national story affected decisions more than any other at the county level in 2013: the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
The late-2012 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., made school security a top priority for the Carter County School System, City of Elizabethton and the Carter County Commission in January.
The school system focused on security plans and ensured there would be enough funding for school resource officers at each high school in the county.
The Carter County School System was also in the spotlight this year with its decision to close Range Elementary School.
Details about a plan to close Range Elementary School emerged during a March workshop, and in April the Board of Education voted to close it.
That closing came despite input from protesters, who gathered nearly 1,000 signatures from people who opposed the closing and sale before the April vote.
Range officially closed in May; in December, a new lesson plan for the building was revealed. The Range property now belongs to Northeast Tennessee United Association’s Plumbers and Pipefitters Union No. 538, which has plans to use the structure for its apprentice training.
The school system also considered – then rejected – a plan to consolidate the county’s high schools.
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