|MJ Commission to consider waiving handgun safety course fee for teachers|
|Friday, January 4, 2013|
By SABRINA GARRETT
A resolution to waive the Mt. Juliet Police Department’s $50 to $100 safety course fee for Wilson County teachers will be presented during the Jan. 14 meeting of the Mt. Juliet City Commission.
Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty said that in light of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut bringing up the issue locally is a normal step. “Everyone is talking about the issue. I know there are some ideas floating around about putting an armed school resource officer in every school – but in my view, that person would be targeted,” he said.
Instead, Hagerty believes it would be more effective to have several teachers and members of administration trained in weaponry at county schools. “Those individuals would be unknown if a shooter was on the property. A person who is properly trained could prevent the incident from occurring,” he said before mentioning a segment he had watched on a national news station. “An interview with the Sandy Hook school nurse said that she was hiding underneath her desk when the crazed individual came in her office. He didn’t recognize that she was under there. He turned around and left. She locked herself in a closet for four hours – she could have stopped things right then if she had been properly trained.”
Hagerty understands that at present time no firearms are allowed on school property. In order for teachers to carry handguns or be designated and trained to protect schools with firearms, the state of Tennessee would have to change the laws regarding guns in schools. “We don’t govern the school and we don’t have any say. That is something for the state to decide – but if the state does decide to allow properly trained teachers, faculty or administrators to carry firearms, we don’t want the handgun safety course fee to be a barrier,” he said.