State law encourages districts to adopt gang prevention policies or requires districts to implement stand-alone gang prevention strategies or approaches (e.g., gang detection training, gang prevention education).
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4215. Activities of criminal gangs on school property -- Promulgation of rules and regulations.
(a) The LEAs of this state are authorized to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations to prohibit the activities of criminal gangs on school property. The rules and regulations may prohibit students in grades six through twelve (6-12) from:
- (1) Wearing, while on school property, any type of clothing, apparel or accessory that denotes the students' membership in or affiliation with any criminal gang;
- (2) Any activity that encourages participation in a criminal gang or facilitates illegal acts of a criminal gang; and
- (3) Any conduct that is seriously disruptive to the educational process or endangers persons or property.
(b) The local law enforcement agency shall advise the local board, upon request, of criminal gangs and associated criminal gang activity.
(c) As used in this section, "criminal gang" means a formal or informal ongoing organization, association or group consisting of three (3) or more persons that has:
- (1) As one (1) of its activities the commission of criminal acts; and
- (2) Two (2) or more members who, individually or collectively, engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-1-214. Safe schools — Advisory guidelines.
(a) The commissioner of education, in consultation with the commissioner of safety, shall develop advisory guidelines for LEAs to use in developing safe and secure learning environments in schools. Such guidelines shall emphasize consultation at the local level with appropriate law enforcement authorities.
(b) The department of education may prepare and distribute to LEAs guidelines for incorporating into local staff development and in-service training the materials and speakers necessary to help educators reduce gang and individual violence, to assist in drug and alcohol abuse prevention and to provide educators with the tools for nonintrusive identification of potentially violent individuals in and around schools. The department may, upon request, assist LEAs in developing comprehensive violence, drug and alcohol abuse prevention in-service training programs. Department guidelines shall encourage the sharing of resources, the development of joint or collaborative programs and the coordination of efforts with local health departments, county and city law enforcement agencies and other public agencies providing health, drug, alcohol, gang violence prevention and other related services.
(c) The department may assist LEAs in qualifying for the receipt of federal and state funds that may support local efforts to provide the in-service training programs in this section. The department shall encourage LEAs to provide written materials to assist teachers and parents working to develop a safe and secure learning environment in system schools. Within available resources, the department may provide technical assistance directly to LEAs seeking to expand teacher and student safety programs.