Today, legislators in a House subcommittee advanced a bill (HB2208) that would allow school districts to create policy allowing teachers to carry guns in schools.
Here’s what’s interesting: No one wants this bill but the lawmakers who voted for it. Governor Haslam has indicated he’s opposed. Law enforcement representatives spoke against it. The state’s largest association of teachers issued a statement opposing the bill. It’s not even clear there’s an agency willing to conduct the necessary training.
The bill is scheduled to be heard in the full House committee and in a Senate Committee next week.
Here’s the Tennessee Education Association email to members on the bill:
TEA is against a bill before the legislature to allow arming designated teachers across Tennessee. We’ve stopped similar proposals in Tennessee before. Laws in other states where teachers can carry guns in schools if they choose are dangerous to students and faculty alike.
Tennessee state law currently allows distressed rural counties that can’t afford SROs to designate teachers to act as security, if they undergo POST (police officer) training, if the local board votes for it, the director designates, and the teacher volunteers. The state doesn’t provide SRO funding.
HB2208 before the General Assembly opens this option to ALL systems. This is wrong.
TEA is working to increase funding for SROs, and other law enforcement resources to provide protection for our schools. Again, safety is not arming teachers. Safety is effective professional security.
Anything less, we will fight to stop.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Contact your legislator: say no to arming teachers, yes to SRO funding.
- Have your school board pass a resolution saying they won’t arm teachers.
- Support efforts to increase law enforcement security in our schools.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport