Knoxville City Attorney Bob Stuyvesant disagrees with a requested clause from Knoxville Schools to be included in a partnership agreement between the City of Knoxville and the school district.
Stuyvesant, who has not had any discussions with the school district, saw in an email message, not addressed to him, that the school district will ask for a hold harmless clause in a 28E agreement with the City to pay for a school resource officer. A hold harmless clause would place the responsibility of defending and indemnifying anything related to the officer working inside the schools, onto the City of Knoxville.
Stuyvesant believes this would place additional burden on the City and does not believe it should exist in a partnership. The decision of whether or not to allow this clause in the agreement is a policy question, decided by the Knoxville City Council and Knoxville School Board. Stuyvesant has no further role other than to advise the council.
More information regarding this request was sought from Knoxville Schools Superintendent Randy Flack. Flack replied, "We're waiting for recommendations from our attorney."
The City of Knoxville was notified months ago that it had been selected for a federal grant to pay for an additional police officer. After some discussion, the council agreed to accept the grant money - which also requires a four-year commitment and some matching funds - after learning the school board would support a partnership to revive the school resource officer position. The board has indicated that it will also supply some of the matching funds.
The final agreement between the City and school district is still being negotiated.