Dec 18 2012
02:15 pm

Tennessee Considers Training And Arming Schoolteachers To Protect Against Shootings

Tennessee has emerged this week as a center of the “the answer is more guns in schools” sentiment following the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.

A member of the Republican-controlled legislature plans during its upcoming session to introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms so, the sponsor told TPM, potential shooters don’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) has said the idea will be part of his discussions about how to prevent a shooting like the one in Newtown from happening in the Volunteer State.


Making us proud!

Min's picture

Oh, for the love of...

I thought the Republicans considered all teachers incompetent and greedy and union thugish. Aren't they a little worried about arming them?

cafkia's picture

And here in the land of

And here in the land of no-taxes-ever-for-anything, how exactly will this be paid for? Does Governor Of-course-I-never-spent-time-in-the-military-HELLO-my-daddy's-rich! understand that the training is not a one time thing? Is someone telling him that the training necessary to respond effectively in an urban tactical situation is months long and must be repeated/renewed monthly(at a minimum)? Has anyone thought about the insurance implications of having a firearm in reach of 12 to 40 inquisitive little minds? Am I the only one who sees nothing but problems with this approach?

Min's picture

The short answer?


fischbobber's picture


I hate to interject anything resembling reality into this discourse, but if someone is going on a suicide mission, how is the idea of ending up dead supposed to dissuade him?

gonzone's picture

I have a feeling this is but

I have a feeling this is but a small introduction to the kind of crazy we're gonna see from Nashville in the coming legislative sessions. I'm going to start lying about where I'm from, that's my temporary solution.

Local Citizen's picture


"if someone is going on a suicide mission, how is the idea of ending up dead supposed to dissuade him?"

It won't but why let him kill numerous others?

fischbobber's picture

That would work two ways

If the vested gunman shoots the teacher and takes his weapon, he moves on more heavily armed and producing a higher body count. This is an extremely poor idea that has absolutely no chance of working.

reform4's picture

Or, more likely...

.. if the unarmed student who is larger than his teacher goes whack-a-doodle and GETS the gun from his teacher, and then starts shooting his classmates, then what?

That's a far more likely scenario.

("Oh, just give it to the bigger teachers/coaches" Thanks for letting us know who has them so we know where to get them and who to shoot first).

fischbobber's picture

Bad Ideas

An idea that's bad on multiple levels, will fail on multiple levels.

Parent teacher conference gone bad? A bad staff meeting? Teacher takes Chantix to quit smoking?

Hell, we ought to have a contest to see who can think up the most scenarios for realistic failure of this idea.

The week after the Florida game? Anyone? Ferris? Anyone?

JMG's picture

Given the way I was in

Given the way I was in elementary/Junior/High school, armed teachers would probably not be a good idea. If they were then, I'm sure I'd have been shot.
Oh and I agree with CAFKIA.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Hey, I think it would be great if state and local government collaborated to fund an armed and trained school resource officer in every school, statewide.

But to suggest that a teacher assigned to a classroom of kids should pull double-duty is asinine on waaay too many levels.

Leave it to Nicely...

gonzone's picture

More reason to be proud!

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. — whose 2008 re-election campaign collected $9,900 from the NRA — partially blamed "violent video games and movies" rather than guns for Friday's massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school.


Sandy Lusk 's picture

Time for guns to be allowed in Legislative Plaza

I'm really sick of these cowards like Sen. Nicely. When are they going to introduce a bill allowing guns at their work in Legislative Plaza? It isn't fair that Ramsey and the TN GOP have a safe gun-free zone while they put our children and teachers at risk with insane ideas.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Thank you, Sandy!

Brian A.'s picture

Will there ever be a return

Will there ever be a return to sanity in Tennessee's government? Is that too much to ask for?

Average Guy's picture

When the majority of their

When the majority of their ideas prove unsuccessful.

But for kids sake, I hope this one doesn't. That's assuming it passes, but hey, we're dealing with who we're dealing with.

EricLykins's picture

A similar bill was just

A similar bill was just vetoed in Michigan because there was no opt-out provision for schools.

R. Neal's picture

Tennessee was featured on

Tennessee was featured on national liberal talk radio this afternoon because of this. And a Tennessee preacher who said the Newtown murders were because of schools teaching evolution and homosexuality.

How low can we go? I'm afraid we're about to find out.

CE Petro's picture


Oh, Randy, he said much more than that, and unfortunately I don't think we've scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel yet. RawStory has the video.

Rachel's picture

Heard this. And groaned, "oh

Heard this. And groaned, "oh great, Tennessee in the news again."

rht's picture

remember inskip?

sometimes teachers shoot first

Up Goose Creek's picture

Resource officer

What a strange title. Sounds like someone you would go to for pencils and paper. Why aren't they called security officer?

Pam Strickland's picture

I think they are called

I think they are called resource officers because one reason they are there is that they can be a resource for kids who might be on the edge with drugs or know some one in a gang. The idea is that if they are in the school, they will get to know the students and be a resource to them and the kids might reach out to them before the get in trouble.

WhitesCreek's picture

Except that they are Secret

Except that they are Secret Security officers and nobody knows who they are.

Pam Strickland's picture

Hey, I didn't say it made

Hey, I didn't say it made sense. Was just explaining why they are called resource officers.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Forgive me for posting this link on two concurrent threads (the other being Eric's post about Harwell's "good sense" proposals for the upcoming session), but...

In today's Times-Free Press, Tennessee House Speaker Harwell doesn’t favor arming classroom teachers.

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