Why, it seems like just last year the Tennessee State Legislature was calling teachers overpaid, incompetent, selfish union thugs. I get teary-eyed just thinking about those good old days.
But being a group of people not overly concerned with things like consistency or logic, this same legislature (give or take a few nuts) is now proposing to allow teachers to go armed in schools.
That's right! The list of people who can legally be packing heat on school grounds might very well be expanded from military personnel, civil, state, or county officers acting in their official capacity, private police and security officers, to include teachers, faculty and staff of public schools. Provided, of course, that the teacher has been approved by the board of education, is authorized to possess and carry a firearm, receives a whopping 40 hours of training (which the school district does not even have to pay for), and uses only frangible bullets. I don't know about you, but the bit about frangible bullets really puts my mind at ease.
I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
But here is the best part:
This bill extends immunity from civil liability to any LEA in which the director of schools authorizes a faculty or staff member to possess or carry a firearm for damages, injuries, or death resulting from or arising out of a faculty or staff member's actions involving a firearm carried or possessed on school property unless the board of education or superintendent knew of or intentionally solicited or procured the faculty or staff member's actions involving a firearm that resulted in the harm.
So the esteemed legislators of Tennessee have decided to address the very complicated issue of gun violence in schools - on the cheap - by allowing teachers to go armed, by not paying for their training, and by shielding local boards of education (but not the teachers, apparently) from any liability in the event someone gets shot or killed, which seems pretty likely if this bill becomes law. Oh, and frangible bullets!
What a gutless public policy proposal. "Here, we'll add even more guns to the mix, but wash our hands of any of the resulting bloodshed."
I was just telling a colleague earlier today that I haven't felt like writing anything for a long time. But the legislature has only been in session for a few days, and already I'm livid. Thanks so much, Tennessee General Assembly, for continuing to inspire me!
Coming soon to a theater near you, more heartwarming classics from the Tennessee Legislature!
Mr. Holland's Glock
Shoot Up the Down Staircase
Fire Away, Mr. Chips
Shot Dead Poets Society
Stand and Deliver a Frangible Bullet to the Head