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November 19, 2017

BOE discusses ongoing threats

Barbara Womack
Grainger Today Correspondent

RUTLEDGE – The Grainger County Board of Education received an update from school officials and law enforcement Monday regarding a recent rash of bomb threats at Grainger High School (GHS) and Joppa Elementary School.

The board moved up its monthly meeting from Tuesday so members could attend the TSBA fall district meeting in Harriman.

Sheriff James Harville and representatives of Rutledge Police Department reported about the progress of investigations of the incidents. GHS Principal Mark Briscoe told the board the steps being taken at the school to prevent further threats.

Director of Schools Edwin Jarnagin thanked the Morristown Police Department, Knoxville Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol for their quick response with K9 units.

There have been five threats since Sept. 1. Briscoe said two of them have been solved, and a student was taken into custody.

In other action, the board approved:

  • Family life curriculum mandated by the state;
  • an agreement with the UTrust Foundation to continue the employee appreciation program for the school year;
  • an agreement with J&F Mechanical to inspect HVAC systems at the schools and replace filters and filter replacement will cost $1,397 a year;
  • an agreement with the city of Rutledge to provide school resource officers at Rutledge Elementary School and Rutledge Middle School for the rest of the school year;
  • a resolution for TRANE to provide an energy survey at schools at no charge; and
  • contracts with several providers for services for assessment and behavioral support for special needs students.
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