Davidson County Republican Party Chair Lonnie Spivak Blasts Metro City Council’s Down Vote on School Safety Evaluations

Apr 21, 2023

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Davidson County Republican Party Chair Lonnie Spivak in studio to give his statement in response to a down vote by Metro Council for school safety evaluations.

Leahy: In studio Dan Meredith who is the vice chair of the Davidson County Republican Party and our good friend Lonnie Spivak, who is the chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party. Dan, you, of course, are also our friend.

Meredith: Yes.

Leahy: A good friend as well. I didn’t mean to not indicate that by not adding that descriptor to you.

Meredith: I want to be like you when I grow up, Michael. But I’m never going to grow up.

Leahy: Lonnie. So tell us about this press release you just put out. We’re breaking it right now on this program. Davidson County Republican Party condemns Metro Council for voting down resolution school safety evaluation. Give us the details on this press release.

Spivak: Let me read the resolution that was presented by council member Courtney Johnston. It was resolution 2100, which reads a resolution directing the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department to conduct an evaluation of the safety plans and measures of the Metro Nashville Public Schools. It was a very simple resolution, and it failed 14 to 19 with two abstentions.

Leahy: I hear that Metro Nashville Public Schools was lobbying against this. Is that right?

Spivak: That’s my understanding.

Meredith: So she just wanted them to evaluate the schools.

Spivak: Yes. It’s important for us to know where our pain points are, right? What our security threats are, where we are weak in the security and the securing of our schools? It’s a common-sense measure that can go a long way to preparing our school facilities in the unlikely event of another shooting.

Meredith: So the school board said we don’t want to know any of that.

Spivak: That wasn’t the school board, it was the Metro Council.

Meredith: Oh, the council said, we don’t want to know any of that.

Leahy: It was 19 to 14. Why don’t you read that statement so we can get it down for our local news outlets here.

Spivak: My statement is the safety and security of our schools should always be a top priority for our community, and it is disheartening to see the Metro Council fail to support this critical initiative. Council Woman’s Johnson’s resolution was a common-sense proposal that sought to proactively assess the safety protocols in place at our schools and make improvements where necessary.

By voting it down, Metro Council has failed our community and rejected an opportunity to take meaningful action toward enhancing the safety of our schools and ensuring that our children receive the quality education they deserve in a safe space.

Leahy: That’s some common sense there. And, but 19 council members voted against this. What was the rationale? You are going to have a professional come in and take a look at how the kids are trained, how the teachers are trained then you know what to do when you hear the sound of gunshots.

In the case of Covenant, they had undergone some training and went through the process, and the number of fatalities would’ve been far greater had they not gone through that training.

Spivak: They had the ability and went through the training. They had procedures and equipment in place to physically lock down the doors easily to the classrooms. Really their only fail point was the glass at the side door.

Leahy: And that was the fail point right there. And I don’t know what the evaluation was, but now an evaluation like this would go to a school, and the number one thing you’d want to look at is, is there glass there that somebody can shoot through? Because that’s what the killer did. The killer scoped this out.

The killer was aware of the fact that they could shoot through the glass and get into the school. There are constraints if you put a ballistic film on those glass doors, you can stop it. And obviously, woulda shoulda could have. That’s why you do these evaluations.

Spivak: It’s important to know where your pain points are at your security level. I’m not a security specialist, but I’d know that I’d easily I’d want the equipment in place to easily lock those doors.

That would be impossible to get into a classroom. I know that you’d want to be able to have magnetic locks in place. You’d want to be able to quickly lock down a facility if it became necessary.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Lonnie Spivak” by Lonnie Spivak. Background Photo “Classroom” by Wokandapix.