Jan 7 2013
09:04 am

State Sens. Frank Niceley and Stacey Campfield are proposing legislation that would allow teachers to bring guns to school. Teachers oppose the idea.

If we're going to arm teachers, they should be deputized and should have to obtain P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification.

POST qualifications include a clean criminal record, background check, and psychological evaluation among other things.

Certification requires 400 hours of classroom and field training that includes 40 hours of firearms training, 10 hours of EMT training, 40 hours of personal self defense and survival training, and 50 hours of legal training, among other things. (Teachers could probably be exempt from the 40 hours of vehicle operation and pursuit training requirements.)

Maintaining certification also requires 40 hours of in-service training during each calendar year.

The fees for certification range from $3000 to $7500 depending on jurisdiction and type of applicant.

fischbobber's picture


For liability reasons, I'd say our insurers are most likely going to demand POST certification. Since teachers aren't paid for their ongoing training what we have before us is a huge tax on teachers to force them to do something most people don't want them to do to begin with.

A bad idea just keeps getting worse the longer it is pursued. Schools aren't prisons and students shouldn't have armed teachers. The whole arming teachers idea is so wrong on so many levels it is difficult to prioritize aspects of the moral void behind the depravity of the idea to begin a counterargument. The idea destroys the foundation of the learning experience and the concept of public education.

bizgrrl's picture

I wonder if teachers would

I wonder if teachers would elect to leave the profession before electing to carry a gun.

fischbobber's picture

Teachers leaving

Some will leave the profession, some will leave the public sector.

The problem is that the one's that will leave on principle are exactly the teachers we need in the system. Those are the folks I want teaching my kids.

Anonymousfourhundred's picture

The Focus said...

What's really interesting is that the Hunley is ragging in his editorial about how much he hates McIntyre and his spending, but then his reporter interviews Nicely and is "surprised to learn that not every school has an SRO assigned to it" and prods Nicely about the locals picking up the tab for hiring SRO's. Let's cut education and teachers, but then lets turn around and spend $56M on arming teachers. You literally cannot make this stuff up.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Do Nicely and Campfield understand that already 46% of new teachers nationally leave the profession within five years?

That rate is higher in urban areas and highest yet in high-poverty schools.

Teachers have said they don't want this security responsibility.

Anything, anything at all that the legislature might do to exacerbate teachers' discontent is not a good thing.

Old School New Body Review's picture

Reply to comment | KnoxViews

I'd like to find out more? I'd care to find out some additional information.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I'm afraid I shared all I knew on this subject a year ago, Old School (you did notice that this conversation arose a year ago?).

And hopefully, with Campfield gone from the legislature for the upcoming session, arming teachers will no longer be under discussion!

glostik's picture


The day they arm teachers is the day I walk out the door...and that is a promise. You don't want your child's first grade teacher to be a trained killer, you want them to be someone who loves kids and wants to make them life long learners. Hire a trained officer if you think one is necessary, there are plenty of folks with great training coming back to the states from the military who need a job, but for heaven's sake, don't arm teachers! By the time you pay the cost for continued training, you could have hired someone already trained.

R. Neal's picture

In case it wasn't clear, I

In case it wasn't clear, I was being facetious to make a point about how absurd it is. Thanks for your stand on the issue. Hope your's is not a lonely voice in Nashville.

glostik's picture

No doubt!

Just responding to the ridiculousness of this bill!

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I'd like to see statewide media poll not just teachers on this question, but law enforcement, too.

I've asked around of just a few local law enforcement folk I know and they aren't any more impressed with this idea than teachers are.

I'm guardedly optimistic that Haslam's and Harwell's skepticism will also carry some weight.

gonzone's picture

I know a few local teachers

I know a few local teachers who absolutely despise these two clowns. And the GOP clown car hasn't even started the engine yet. Are they certain they want them all armed?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Per WATE, the TEA and the KCEA request armed SROs in every school.

Dr. McIntyre says that's possible, as we have one in every high school and middle school now, and we have shared SROs--but not one in every school--in our elementary schools.

AnonymousOne's picture

A lot of little security

A lot of little security things can be done that haven't been done yet.

Fix intercoms that don't work or can't be heard above shop, music, or band noise. All doors should be locked from the inside, and I should think a key shouldn't be necessary ( if a teacher is outside of class, how do students secure their classroom door?)

Teachers and principals carrying is an attempt to expand areas for CCP holders and to do away with gun free zones.

Insurance coverage would seemingly go up...a lot. It would re-orient the entire relationship between teachers and students in a bad way. Teachers are multi-tasking to the breaking point as it is. The arming teachers idea hurts security AND teaching.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


All doors should be locked from the inside, and I should think a key shouldn't be necessary ( if a teacher is outside of class, how do students secure their classroom door?)

I read somewhere (at one of our broadcast news sites, I think it was) that Dr. McIntyre assured the board just this week that this measure is already in place.

I don't think the article covered whether a key is required to lock classroom doors, though. Good question.

Rachel's picture

SROS in every school may or

SROS in every school may or may not be a good idea. What is most emphatically NOT a good idea is arming teachers.

nunua's picture

No. No no no no no. What have

No. No no no no no. What have we become...?

Brian Hornback's picture

Anyone who would think

a story with what Campfield is gonna do is relavant today is obvious clueless

Dahlia's picture

But it works so well in

But it works so well in Utah...

TNchickadee's picture

I would so do this. Because

I would so do this. Because of where my classroom is in the very back of the school, my students and I would be sitting ducks if an intruder were in my hallway. I would do anything to keep my babies safe. However, I wonder if the school systems will pick up the tab, because teachers can't afford to pay for the training. It wouldn't surprise me if, like many other things though...teachers are required to do it and have to fork over the cash.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

* students and I would be sitting ducks if an intruder were in my hallway.

Better to focus on keeping intruders out of your hallway--and out of your building--I think.

Even in Tennessee, I can't imagine that too many parents want armed teachers in their children's elementary schools.

fischbobber's picture

Armed Teachers.

I'm in favor of teachers being armed....., and legged. But I don't think opportunity should be denied because they're not.

Knoxgal's picture

Thanks for the chuckle

Thanks for the chuckle.

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