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Tennessee House unanimously passes bill changing fire alarm protocols

State Rep. Rush Bricken

State Representative for the 47th District, Rush Bricken, in his Capitol Hill Review, has announced that the House on Thursday, February 8, 2024, voted unanimously to pass legislation requiring schools to determine the cause of a fire alarm before allowing children to leave their classrooms.

House Bill 1644 is among several safety proposals reintroduced from the
special session in August. The bill was filed by House Majority leader
William Lamberth, R-Portland, in response to the Covenant School shooting in
Nashville on March 27.  

One of the six victims, William Kinney, 9, was leading his third-grade
classmates to safety as line leader when he was fatally shot by a former
student of the school.  Smoke from the shooter’s weapon triggered the
school’s fire alarm, but the victims were unaware there was an active
shooter in the school when they heard the alarm. Kinney was the first to
encounter the shooter in the hallway of the school.

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“This is one small step, but a very important one for both the families at
Covenant, for (Tennessee), and I was glad to see it get unanimous support,”
Lamberth said on Thursday.  “This is one of a number of bills we pass this
year that will make Tennessee safer tomorrow than it is today.”

The bill is expected to be considered in the Senate chamber in the coming weeks.

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