Tennessee moves to arm teachers; the discussion produces conflicting reactions in South Carolina

Last Tuesday, Tennessee lawmakers approved a bill that grants teachers the authority to bear arms in their classrooms.

If Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signs it into law, teachers and school staff in Tennessee will be required to fulfill several requirements in order to be armed on campus. These requirements include completing approximately 80 hours of training, passing a background check and psychological evaluation, obtaining an enhanced carry permit, and fulfilling other conditions.

In South Carolina, schools remain one of the few places where firearms are still not allowed, even under constitutional carry laws. Therefore, it raises the question: what is the general opinion regarding teachers carrying firearms in this state?

“I absolutely refuse to continue my career in education if I am expected to engage in such practices. It’s something I simply cannot and will not do,” asserted Kaye Guty, a devoted teacher and parent residing in Hampton, S.C.

After teaching for 27 years, the high school teacher emphasized the significance of schools being a secure environment for students, highlighting that the presence of guns on campus completely undermines that sense of safety.

Those who hold a different perspective argue in contrast.

According to Robert Thompkins, the majority of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones such as schools, churches, and universities. He suggests that perpetrators choose these locations because they know they can carry out their harm without facing any resistance. Thompkins believes that if this aspect is eliminated and people are allowed to defend themselves, potential shooters might reconsider their actions.

Thompkins has three children who attended school in South Carolina. Presently, he has ten grandchildren who are also part of the state’s school system.

Read More:  A large-scale drug ring operating out of Alaska has 54 people charged

According to him, mandatory training should be tailored to the individual teacher’s prior experience with firearms, rather than a fixed number of hours. Additionally, he believes that it is unnecessary for students and parents to be aware of which teachers are armed.

According to Thompkins, the most ideal location for a teacher to carry a firearm is on their person. He emphasizes the importance of it being concealed, so that students are unaware of its presence. Thompkins firmly believes that the teacher’s firearm should always be stored on their person.

Guty, however, believes that this would only add another burden for teachers.

Educators like her didn’t go through college and graduate school to have this as one of their responsibilities.

“We nurses not only provide medical care but also offer counseling services. Many times, we act as surrogate parents for children who need our support. Adding the responsibility of administering medication to our already full plates would be overwhelming for teachers,” Guty expressed.

Guty and Thompkins believe that it wouldn’t be unexpected for a similar law to be proposed and approved in South Carolina. However, as of now, there are no ongoing discussions in Columbia, and the legislative session for this year will end on May 9.

Read More:

Leave a Comment