Teacher who endured mass shooting opposes TN bill arming teachers, can’t imagine having gun to protect students

A teacher at a school where a mass shooting took place has gone viral for arguing against teachers being armed.

According to Nashville station WZTV, a Covenant School teacher penned a letter about the topic that was read aloud during a press conference/protest Monday morning.

“As I reflect on this time, I simply cannot imagine how I could have pulled out a gun with 10 children under foot and in my arms,” the letter read. “I think of all the terrible things that could have gone wrong had I had a gun. My job that day, in the face of such terror, was not to take down a killer, who was carrying multiple firearms – including a military-style assault rifle.”

“My job was to move my students to safety, secure the area, keep them calm so they would not cry or make a loud noise, comfort them, and reassure myself that trained law enforcement would do their job at taking out the threat as soon as possible,” it continued.


It’s not clear who read the letter at the press conference.

What’s known is that the event was jampacked with a plethora of students, teachers, and even Democrat lawmakers, all of them convinced that a bill to arm teachers, HB1202, that passed the Tennessee Senate earlier this month is a bad, bad, bad idea.

“Many believe the plan to arm teachers won’t help with school l safety but would instead create more chaos in the event of an active shooter,” WZTV notes.

Introduced after the Covenant School mass shooting last year by transgender student Aiden Hale, the bill by state Sen. Paul Bailey, a Republican, would allow school staff members to carry a concealed weapon so long as they’ve undergone 40 hours of law enforcement training, a mental health evaluation, and a background check.

“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,” Bailey said last year, according to local station WKRN. “It could also deter potential school shooters if they know multiple people in the building might be armed.”

At the time, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions co-founder Josh Horwitz released a statement to the station arguing that Bailey’s idea would actually make students less safe.

“Arming teachers is a bad idea,” he said. “We need to let teachers teach, and we need the law enforcement professionals to do what they do. All the evidence we know is that we make it easier for public carry of weapons, we see violence increase, and teachers really should be focused on educating our children.”

Many of the participants at Monday’s press conference agreed with Horwitz, including Mary Joyce, a parent who called the bill “irresponsible and ludicrous.”

“Sen. Bailey, stated in the judiciary committee that all armed teachers would be expected to act in the same way as an SRO during a school shooting,” Joyce said. “This means they would leave their classrooms and pursue an active shooter.”

“But who would be protecting our children in their classrooms and keeping them safe while their teacher is gone? Further, parents, children and staff wouldn’t even know which teachers are armed. Because that information would be kept confidential – as required by this legislation,” she added.

Students also agreed.

“My teachers are expected not just to teach but to risk their lives to protect students in a mass shooting event,” one student said. “They are expected to be EMT’s and go through training on how to pack a bullet hole wound. Now you expect them to be armed law enforcement?”

But responding on social media, a number of critics cried foul, claiming that the students, parents, and teachers were missing the forest for the trees.


Vivek Saxena


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles