A Farewell to Arms

More districts saying they won’t be arming teachers

Despite Gov. Lee’s quick signing of legislation that takes effect immediately and allows teachers to be armed at school with certain training, districts across the state are make clear this was not the policy change they were looking for.

Here’s more from Anderson County:

Rev. Brandon Berg, pastor of Norris and Sinking Springs United Methodist Churches, issued a statement by way of the Southern Christian Coalition.

“As a father of 3 children in Anderson County Schools I am enormously glad tremendously relieved that Anderson County schools and Dr. Parrott have joined so many voices and so many school systems and directors of schools across the state of Tennessee in standing up against arming teachers in our schools,” said Berg.

exterior of school building in daytime
Photo by Mary Taylor on Pexels.com

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Williamson County School Board candidate Elmer Mobley says he opposes legislative efforts that would allow some teachers to carry firearms while at school.

“SB1325 and HB1202 overlook evidence-based solutions to school safety while promoting a culture of fear and militarization,” Mobley stated. “Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers. Expecting them to handle firearms in high-stress situations without adequate training increases the potential for accidents, misuse, and escalation of violence. Even with extensive training, accidents can happen. A loaded firearm in a classroom increases the risk of accidental discharge and the potential of injuring or killing students or staff.”


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TN Senate Approves Legislation Allowing Teachers to Carry Guns

Moves state one step closer to armed teachers in classrooms

The Tennessee State Senate approved by a vote of 26-5 legislation that would allow some teachers to carry guns in schools.

WSMV in Nashville has more:

A bill that would allow teachers to carry a concealed gun on campus and school property is moving through the Tennessee General Assembly.

It passed on the Senate floor on Tuesday with 26 votes for and five votes against. On Thursday, it was held on the House’s desk.

If passed, this bill would allow school staff members to carry a concealed gun upon completing training, background checks and a psychological evaluation. Substitute teachers or part-time employees cannot participate.

It’s not yet clear whether the House will move the legislation forward. Should the House pass the legislation, it would go to Gov. Lee for his signature.

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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.


  • 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