Sumner County Schools Releases Statement On Arming Teachers Legislation

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Sumner County Schools released the following statement after the House passed a bill, on Tuesday, that would allow teachers to carry guns in schools.

“I have spoken with Sheriff Weatherford today and we agree: We will not arm teachers in Sumner County.

Yesterday, the TN State Legislature passed legislation allowing school districts to arm teachers if they possess the proper law enforcement training and certifications.

We respect that school districts across Tennessee have very different resources and needs, and we appreciate our state leaders recognizing those needs and giving districts the option to address them.

We are fortunate here in Sumner County to have a partnership with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, who provides a trained Sumner County Sheriff’s Deputy, which we call School Resource Officers, on campus at every school in Sumner County. Our SRO program is currently ranked number one in the nation. I see their commitment to excellence each day.

We are thankful and appreciative of our partnership with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Weatherford and his team are deeply committed to our School Resource Officer division and the safety of our schools. Beyond just providing security, our SRO’s are a vital part of our school communities. They build relationships with our students and staff. Our SROs know our schools because they are a part of them. Our SRO division works hand in hand with our district’s Safe Schools team to assess school security daily and proactively plan ways to strengthen the security of our buildings for the safety of our students.

Our Safe Schools team also works to coordinate student safety and well-being in each of our schools across the county. They work proactively through crisis social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals to take care of our students. They also coordinate our school safety needs with local law enforcement agencies, Sumner County Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and all of our first responders.

Our teachers and principals carry tremendous responsibilities in teaching and supporting our students in the classroom. Our teachers and principals already play a critical role in school safety by ensuring that our safety procedures are followed in our school buildings daily. We do not want to add one more task or responsibility to them.

Simultaneously, our law enforcement officers are the best in the state and nation. We are at our best when our teachers focus on teaching, and our law enforcement officers continue their work to ensure our schools and students are safe.

School safety is best achieved by a continuing conversation between our school district, our Sheriff’s Office, local law enforcement and our community. We are committed to constantly strengthen and improve the security of our schools.

We are blessed in Sumner County to have the very best team to work towards that goal.”

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