Tennessee politicians call for gun protection in schools

Following on the heels of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut, legislators around the country and here at home are proposing training for school faculty and teachers to carry guns in the classroom.

Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Six-year-old student Jack Pinto, who was killed Friday when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried at the cemetery Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Following on the heels of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut, legislators around the country and here at home are proposing training for school faculty and teachers to carry guns in the classroom.

State Senator Frank Niceley is drafting legislating now that would require schools to have school resource officers.

"Roughly 50 percent of the schools in Tennessee have resource officers now," said Niceley.

Those that don't or can't afford more officers would arm a trained volunteer, administrator or teacher.

"We'd require some psychological training, professional training, background checks. Make sure they're right, and make sure they're safe. The goal here is to protect the children," said Nicely.

But the big question for many parents is if the gains outweigh the risks?

"Teachers are not as highly trained as things, people like law enforcement officers, and I don't know that teachers would necessarily work as well under pressure in those kinds of situations," said parent Joe Kirby.

"I just think it introduces an unknown variable into a situation that's meant to be positive," said personal safety licensed educator Charlene Watson.

But the images from last week's shooting is still fresh on the minds of many, and leaving some parents looking for a solution to better protect their kids.

"If the school had had a gun, that guy would've been a lot less likely to come in in my opinion," said parent Bob Gilliam.

"Some upper authority should have a gun on them because at this time of day you just don't know what's going on, what's happening," said aunt Yvette Rice.

Senator Stacey Campfield is also proposing legislation for guns in schools.

In his plan, school's should have school resource officers, but they can also allow faculty with handgun permits to carry on campus.

He clarified that it's not a mandate but does allow the guns for people who are supposed to be at the school.


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