NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Months after the Covenant School shooting, the debate over arming staff inside schools continues.
“I constantly have to ask the question, ‘Is this a day that a maniac with a gun comes into our schools? Is this a day? Is this our last day?’ We’re asking that within institutions that are supposed to protect us, sort of supposed to build us up,” said Seamus Purdy with the Tennessee Student Union.
Following the shooting, calls for change were heard loud and clear both inside and outside the State Capitol.
“Covenant made students a lot more inclined to speak out about things that were happening in our schools because I think that it just brought it a lot closer to home for a lot of the Nashville residents,” said Erin Joyce with the TN Student Union.
Some proposed stricter gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of potential deadly mass shooters, while others suggested increasing the number of school resource officers and the possibility of arming teachers.
“More guns is not the solution when guns themselves have been the common denominator in all of these issues,” Purdy argued.
Weeks after calling for a special session, there is still no clear date on when it will happen. However, if it does, and if allowed, one senator announced plans to introduce a bill to arm the teachers to the floor.
In a statement from State Sen. Paul Bailey (R-Sparta), he wrote:
“The option to pursue this path could be especially useful in rural districts which don’t have the resources to heavily invest in school security. It could also deter potential school shooters if they know multiple people in the building might be armed.”State Sen. Paul Bailey
“Arming teachers is only going to make students feel more unsafe in the classroom,” Joyce said in response to that bill.
Purdy echoed those same concerns.
“The presence of guns aren’t preventing other people, bad people, have guns, and when we’re putting millions and millions of dollars, whether it’s city, state, or federal level, we want that money to be put towards things that actually solve the issues that we face,” Purdy said.
Instead, the Tennessee Student Union is proposing other measures to help curb violence inside schools.
“We need more mental health; we need more mental health support in schools; we need more people who are trained in trauma response…we need to get to the root of these problems,” Joyce suggested.