Anderson Co. court clerk proposes school security fund

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Right now, people heading through the Anderson County court system pay a variety of fees, including a $2.00 courtroom security fee. Circuit Court Clerk Tyler Mayes is hoping another fee will be added on to criminal cases, with proceeds going towards school security.

Mayes said he came up with the idea months ago, but the Connecticut school shooting pushed his plan into high gear.

"Being a former educator, and my wife is an educator, it hits home because you think, 'What if that had happened to my wife? What if that had happened to my child?' My child is only 20 months old, but she'll be in school one day," said Mayes.

Last week, he sent a letter to county commissioners proposing the fee. It would operate like the courtroom security fee, which has made metal detectors and a badge system possible in the building.

"It's a fee that would be added to court costs for people who have been charged with crimes. It would not be tax dollar money or anything like that. And when they pay their court costs, it would go in to an account," said Mayes.

Joeley Searle has two kids in Anderson County schools.

"I don't think you can ever be too safe. I think $2.00, two dollars, or $1.00, or whatever the fee would be is not - I mean, what little fee is that for extra safety?" she said.

But some don't want criminals to bear the brunt of the cost.

"I just figure everybody should pay it - it should be like some sort of tax or something," said Jonathan Touchton.

Others don't want a new fee at all.

"It seems to me that this is just a knee-jerk reaction. There's too many people with knee-jerk reactions to this school shooting that occured in Connecticut. And I don't think knee-jerk reactions are the way to approach this," said Curt Kelsey.

If County Commissioners decide they want the fee, state legislators would need to approve it before it could be implemented.

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