#EdTalk: Should Tennessee Teachers Carry Guns?

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:

  • Nation­al­ly73% 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.

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