School districts could have option to have armed teachers

School districts could have option to have armed teachers

Posted:
"If somebody is to break into a classroom, what kind of reflexes would that teacher have to know, 'oh, I need to open this case'? Hopefully it's locked, and be timely in preventing some kind of disaster," said parent Samantha Rosario. "If somebody is to break into a classroom, what kind of reflexes would that teacher have to know, 'oh, I need to open this case'? Hopefully it's locked, and be timely in preventing some kind of disaster," said parent Samantha Rosario.
"We feel like our people need to be educating students, protecting students, following our plan that we have in place," said Fogerty. "We feel like our people need to be educating students, protecting students, following our plan that we have in place," said Fogerty.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

CLINTON (WATE) - Tennessee lawmakers have finished their session for the year, adjourning Friday afternoon.

Before they did, lawmakers approved a bill that clears the way for teachers carrying guns at school, but under very specific circumstances.

We heard the armed teachers idea come up after the Newtown shootings.

The bill now headed to the governor's desk allows school personnel to be armed, but only if they are current or former police officers with special training.

School systems would have the choice whether or not to have armed faculty and staff in addition to the school resource officer.

Several school systems 6 News spoke with say they are against arming teachers, including Anderson County.

"We feel like our people need to be educating students, protecting students, following our plan that we have in place so if something were to happen, we can secure our kids and get them locked down safely, and then allow the professionals to do what they're trained to do," said Anderson County Schools Director of Safety Joe Forgety.

The School Security Act of 2013 would allow faculty and staff to carry a gun if they have law enforcement experience and extra training but lets schools ultimately decide if teachers can carry guns and which teachers.

That information that would be kept confidential.

Some parents 6 News spoke with in Anderson County say arming teachers isn't the answer.

"If somebody is to break into a classroom, what kind of reflexes would that teacher have to know, 'oh, I need to open this case'? Hopefully it's locked, and be timely in preventing some kind of disaster," said parent Samantha Rosario.

Knox County and Roane County have said they are opposed to arming teachers as well.

As for the governor, his office says he worked with the sponsors on this measure along with the departments of education, commerce and insurance.

6 News was told Governor Haslam will review the bill to make sure it meets his criteria, which was allowing local school boards to have the flexibility to decide whether this is something they want and that the personnel have right training.

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