New Tennessee laws effective July 1

Posted By | June 30, 2008 12:00 am

AEDs encouraged for schools
School districts will be encouraged to place automated external defibrillators in the educational facilities under a new law that goes into effect July 1.
However, the placement of these lifesaving devices will be totally left up to the individual school system and be contingent of the availability of funding from its own budget. The law plainly states, “No funding by the LEA (Local Education Agency) from the state would be allocated or expended for the purchase or maintenance of an AED.”
 In addition, the law stipulates the school system would now be responsible for any civil liability for any personal injury that results from an act or omission that does not amount to willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence if there has been compliance with applicable AED program requirements. This immunity would also apply to a teacher, school employee, or other person employed by the LEA responsible for an AED program.
Schools must comply with present law provisions for use for AEDs in regard to the written plan, maintenance, and testing. An AED must be supervised and endorsed by a physician, placed in a location that is accessible during emergency situations, and must be registered with White County’s emergency medical services providers.
‘Bible in School Act’ authorizes study course
The state board of education will be authorized to approve a curriculum for an elective state-funded course for academic study of the Bible under a new law effective July 1.
According to the content of this new law, which is called the “Bible in School Act,” the course will be “nonsectarian” and “nonreligious.”
Any Local Education Agency that elects to offer the Bible course and utilize an approved textbook would be required to do so in a manner that is consistent with the state and federal constitutions.
This bill also prohibits the use of any religious test or association when assigning teachers for Bible courses pursuant to this bill.
This bill does not mandate any LEA to use the curriculum developed by the state board for an academic study of the Bible or prohibit an LEA from adopting its own curriculum for such course. However, any academic study of the Bible that is offered must be approved as a special course according to the state board’s rules.
An LEA can adopt a course for an academic study of the Bible that uses a curriculum developed by another LEA and that has been approved by the department. The law authorizes the course to include the impact of the Bible on literature, art, music, culture, and politics.
Handicapped parking violators face bigger fine
Parking illegally in a handicapped parking spot will now carry a heftier fine for a violator, as well as the possibility of being required to perform five hours of community service.
Effective July 1, those who do not legally display a placard or carry disabled driver tags on their vehicles can be fined $200 if they park in one the places set aside for handicapped parking. This new law ups the original fine from $150 and also imposes the additional penalty of community service.
This bill prohibits suspension or waiver of the penalty for improperly parking in any parking space designated with the wheelchair disabled sign.
This bill also requires new disabled parking signs erected after July 1, 2008, to indicate the penalties contained in this bill.
Any community service requirement that is imposed for improperly parking in a space designated with the wheelchair sign will be to assist the disabled community by monitoring disabled parking spaces, providing assistance to handicapped centers or to disabled veterans, or other such purposes.

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