On Tuesday March 27th, at 9 a.m. the House Education Administration and Planning Committee voted on a bill that would allow school districts in Tennessee to let teachers carry guns after completing a 40-hour training.
Arming teachers has been a subject of national conversation in the last few weeks following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Tennessee’s legislature has taken up the conversation by advancing a bill that would allow school employees to carry guns on school property. This bill, SB 2563/HB 2208 has passed two committees and is set for a third and final committee vote before going to the full House floor.
This is what we know:
- Nationally, 73% of teachers are opposed to arming teachers.
- In Tennessee, teachers don’t want other teachers to carry guns, and neither does the Commissioner of Education.
- Hitting a moving target isn’t easy. Even trained professionals are often unprepared to deal with active shooters– the most highly skilled police force has an 18% accuracy rate. Guns in schools in the hands of personnel that has gone through basic training could lead to more violence and death, rather than prevent it.
- Students of color are already over-policed in schools. Arming teachers would put students of color at risk. The data is clear: whether it’s zero-tolerance policies or in-school policies officers, the harshest discipline falls to students of color.
Your education advocate voice matters in this conversation. Call or email your House Education Administration & Planning Committee member from your district and share your thoughts on this issue.