Arming Teachers

Tennessee is currently looking at several proposals to arm teachers. There is considerable opposition, but these appear to be common-sensical: 

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, is proposing a measure that would let teachers with handgun carry permits bring their guns to school, with the permission of the local school system. The bill also would require teachers to go through special training, and it would allow them to load their guns only with “frangible bullets,” ammunition designed to break apart to minimize the risk of ricocheting.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Knoxville, says he has drafted a bill that would require districts to assign at least one resource officer, typically a sheriff’s deputy or other armed police officer, to every school or to allow teachers to go armed.

State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, also plans to introduce legislation proposing three options for schools — to have a trained student resource officer on campus; allow faculty members who are handgun carry permit holders to take student resource officer training so they can carry a gun at school; require the school system to assume liability of its students.

 Frangible bullets, very smart. Keeps ricochet injuries down. Please vote in the poll at the bottom page of the Tennessean article. For more on gun control, you had better read this Joseph Nee story. It involves the son of Boston Police Officer Thomas Nee, a member of Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control task force.

11 thoughts on “Arming Teachers

  1. There is at least one school district here in Texas where the faculty and staff were armed before the Newtown shootings. The personnel involved receive additional training beyond what is required for a concealed carry license. They use frangible bullets. Participating staff (which includes teachers, administrators, and maintenance personnel) are all volunteers, and must go through a background check and evaluation process that is more rigorous than the CCL requirements. They are also anonymous – their identity is known only to the school board and school district superintendent. That seems to me like a reasonable and common sense approach.

    Other proposals I’ve heard would allow school personnel to be armed with tasers or to carry pepper spray, both of which are for currently forbidden by many schools.

    The president of the university where I teach is a typical academic liberal. He’s an English lit major (stereotyping…) who thinks we’re all protected by the “No Weapons” signs around the campus. I carry a tactical knife (which is technically prohibited) and keep a can of high-pressure wasp spray in my briefcase. It’s effective 20-30 feet. Better than nothing…

    • Personally, I think it is a great idea to train and arm a few teachers. Just something kind of funny – Harrold ISD is very small. If the administrators and school board know who is carrying, that is about everyone in town.

  2. Why not School Marshals. Air Marshals seems to have worked well since 9-11.

    • One big difference: access to planes is restricted, and passengers go through a thorough screening. Armed guards are stationed in airports to enforce those safeguards. So by the time passengers get on board with the Air Marshals the threat level is pretty low.

      It’s the armed guards at the airport checkpoints that really provide the security. The Air Marshals are just the cherry on top of the dessert.

      • Agree with the above, but I think that knowing that a good guy, armed, is in the school area would keep the cowards be they terrorists, bullies or just plain f-ing nuts away. You will never keep it 100% safe, that’s life, but when the police are MINUTES away.

          • Kristen –

            I hope you see this reply. The comment function appears to be acting up, at least on my end. Anyway…

            My field is Information Systems. Not from a technical perspective — I leave that to the computer scientists and engineers — but rather the study of how Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) is used by and affects individuals, organizations, and society. Since I teach in a business school, most of my emphasis is on using IS&T to gain a competitive advantage – in other words to make $$$.

  3. I appreciate your response CTT…I’m in the DFW area and spent most of my military career in intelligence and information systems as a reasonably knowledgable individual in the communications arena…is anyone making money out there except in Texas? Where I was it was impossible to get hired and find work equating to that field of endeavor….This is just another rhetorical question, of course……k

  4. K – I’m a bit surprised by that. I know the communications sector went through a slump a few years back, but hiring has picked up since. The sector’s unemployment rate is currently around 5%, which isn’t too bad. Depends on your expertise and experience, of course, but generally speaking the D.C. area should have numerous openings, what with all the federal agencies HQed there. NYC also hires a lot in that field (banks, investment firms, insurance companies, etc.). Silicon Valley is another good place to look. However, those are all places where I wouldn’t want to live. YMMV.

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