Bill to allow schools to hire retired police officers advances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal that would allow school districts to hire retired law enforcement officers for security is advancing in the Legislature.

The legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Eric Watson of Cleveland passed the House Civil Justice Committee on a voice vote on Wednesday. The companion bill was later approved 5-2 in the Senate Education Committee.

The original version would have allowed teachers with handgun carry permits to be armed at school.

Gov. Bill Haslam has said he opposes such legislation, but a representative from the governor's office said Wednesday that he's OK with Watson's current bill.

The proposal would allow schools to hire retired law enforcement officers after they meet certain requirements, such as completing a school policing course.

Sponsors say the legislation would help school districts strapped for money.

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