HomeNewsKing makes statement against arming teachers

King makes statement against arming teachers

When Jackson-Madison County Schools Superintendent Marlon King spoke to the Jackson Rotary Club on April 24, he was adamant in one statement that he made.

He opposes arming teachers in the classroom.

His statement was in response to the 68-28 vote the Tennessee General Assembly took the day before in passing a bill to allow teachers to be armed with guns in the classroom.

It was two days later when Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill into law. Later that day, Jackson-Madison County Schools published a one-page statement from King further detailing his opposition to the move.

“While the intention behind this decision may stem from a desire to enhance safety, I firmly believe that introducing firearms into our teachers/staff poses significant risks and challenges,” King said in the statement. “Our primary focus should always be on providing a nurturing and conducive learning environment where every individual feels safe and supported.

“I light of this, I want to reassure you that our district remains committed to prioritizing safety through proactive measures and collaboration with law enforcement agencies.”

Every Democrat and four Republican representatives voted against the measure. For Madison County’s representatives, Chris Todd (Republican-District 73) voted for it, and Johnny Shaw (Democrat-80) voted against it.

In the State Senate, Madison County’s Ed Jackson voted for it when the Senate passed the bill on April 9.

According to the bill, the school’s principal, the school district and local law enforcement would have to all approve of a teacher carrying in a class room.

According to King’s statement, he’s opposed to the notion.

“We feel that we have an incredibly strong plan in place to support school safety,” King said. “With the ever-changing dynamics in public education, we will continue to assess our current safety strategy and if the need to arm identified in-house safety specialist ever arises, we will ensure that families are aware.”

According to the bill, the school isn’t required to notify parents if their children’s teachers are carrying a gun, but they are required to go through extensive training before bringing a firearm onto campus.

The bill passing comes about 13 months after six people were killed when a shooter entered Covenant Christian School in Nashville and began firing shots before being killed by law enforcement officers.

Since then, the Madison County Commission voted to fund school resource officers for every school in JMCSS including two each at South Side and North Side since they have larger campuses. The JMCSS Board has voted to continue funding school safety officers that are on the JMCSS payroll for added safety, and the district has an agreement with local security firm Maxxguard.

“Our staff and student safety and wellbeing are paramount, and I am dedicated to the ongoing collaboration with our law enforcement agencies, school board, county commission and city council as we work to keep our schools safe,” King said. “As a parent in the system, safety always remains at the top of that list.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments