TN Edu Commissioner: No TN teacher has told me they want to carry guns

McQueen applauds lawmakers on move boosting school security

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee lawmakers revealed their plan, a "stopgap measure," to increase security in public schools.

This comes after the Florida school shooting on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead.

Thursday while visiting classrooms in Memphis, Tennessee's Education Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen weighed in on lawmakers' strides to boost security.

School safety and security remain top of mind for students, educators, and parents.

Lawmakers nationwide are also feeling the pressure to take action.

Republican lawmakers have advanced a proposal to expand the number of Tennessee teachers who can carry guns in schools.

The legislation passed a House subcommittee Wednesday. The bill would let all school districts decide whether to allow teachers to undergo training by certified private instructors to carry guns in schools, with one armed teacher allowed per 75 students.

Wednesday, another bill was introduced that would let school districts hire off-duty law enforcement officers to bolster existing school security.

McQueen said Thursday she and her staff are following these bills and others closely and applauds any move to boost school security to protect students and staff.

"We are looking at all of the different bills that are on this particular topic and really trying to create some path forward to which of these solutions makes the most sense or is it none of the above," McQueen said.

McQueen said she's received many calls and emails from teachers in the state concerned over proposed legislation that appears to be gaining traction at the capitol that calls for arming teachers.

She said so far, no educator has told her that they support arming teachers in Tennessee.

In the meantime, the department of education is also evaluating its resources before making recommendations for changes.

McQueen said we could see more mental health resources and school psychologist being brought into schools.

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