Coffee County Sheriff Stands Behind Armed Teacher Proposal

Coffee County Sheriff Stands Behind Armed Teacher Proposal

Legislators in Tennessee are debating a controversial bill that would permit certain teachers to carry weapons in the classroom. We’ve heard compelling viewpoints on the subject from legislators, parents, educators, and gun safety specialists throughout the week.

I’ve just heard from a local sheriff who believes that Tennessee’s more rural counties may benefit greatly from this.

Despite Coffee County’s hour and a half’s distance from the state capitol, Sheriff Chad Partin pays close attention to every word that is said.

“What comes off that Hill is what we’re going to have to start enforcing or changing,” Partin stated.

In his opinion, the “Arming Teachers” measure is not fully understood.

“It’s just a lot of misconceptions about it because there’s nobody being forced to do anything,” Partin stated.

Teachers who are interested in the legislation must already hold a permit to carry a firearm, obtain permission from their principal and Director of Schools, pass a psychological evaluation, and complete an additional 40 hours of training.

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“We know how to put them in those training positions, and I’m going to tell you, there will be a big percentage of them I don’t think I want to do this and they’re going to change their mind,” Partin stated.

The final approval power rests with the relevant police chief or sheriff once all those stages have been completed.

“There is such a deep filter with this bill. It’s deeper options and deeper requirements of any law or bill that I’ve seen in years,” he stated.

“Do I think there will be one teacher or faculty member in the Davidson County school system that will participate in this? Me personally? No,” he stated. “In the rural parts of Tennessee? Absolutely.”

According to Partin, localities such as Coffee County are facing difficulties in retaining school resource officers, who are vital in safeguarding their schools.

Partin stated that, “I’m very blessed to have the SROs I’ve got, and if I lose one of my SROs, I don’t — it’s hard to replace them.”

Partin said he understands the reluctance because he pays close attention to every word of congressional debate. However, he believes that this kind of activity could save lives, at least in Coffee County.

He stated that, “We’re putting that option out there to carry this firearm for when all hell breaks loose, that’s it.”