New laws set to affect Tennessee public schools

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Tennessee legislature passed hundreds of bills relating to schools in recent months, with topics ranging from vaping, to school bus security, and more.

One new law will require teachers to watch a video on the prevention and detection of child sex trafficking. Scarlet Rope Project Director Julanne Stone praised the new law.

“Any place that you have a vulnerable population, you have the potential for sex trafficking,” Stone said.

Stone also says trafficking looks different in younger populations.

“The boyfriend that trafficks his girlfriend, or even the best girlfriend that trafficks a friend — but we also see a lot of familiar trafficking, which is family trafficking,” Stone said.

Under House Bill 1483, public high schools are now able to provide free feminine hygiene products in school bathrooms and locker rooms. But the law does not require schools to provide those items.

House Bill 1016 now requires students to pass a civics test in order to receive their diploma. The test is 50 questions, all from the U.S. citizenship test.

Students must get a 70 percent on the test, which can be taken multiple times.

Another bill allows schools to treat vaping under similar policies as tobacco use on school property.

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