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CCSD rejects bill to allow teachers to carry handguns

Cheatham County School District (CCSD) Director Cathy Beck announced the district's plans to reject Gov. Bill Lee’s recent law to allow teachers and staff to carry handguns on campus. 


On April 26, Gov. Lee signed a bill which authorizes a faculty or staff member of a school to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds, subject to certain conditions including having approval from the principal and other leadership to possess a gun.


In a letter to CCSD families and staff, Beck said she consulted with Cheatham County Sheriff Tim Binkley regarding this new state law, and they both concluded that teachers and staff carrying handguns “would not enhance safety on our campuses.”


“I do not believe it is in our best interest to arm teachers and staff,” Beck wrote. “We are thankful and appreciative of our successful partnership with the Cheatham County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff’s Office provides trained and armed School Resource Officers on each school campus. We are fortunate to have 16 SROs covering 13 schools.” 


“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to our School Resource Officer program and the safety of our schools,” she said. “Our SROs work with our district safety team to assess school security daily and proactively plan ways to strengthen the security of our buildings for the safety of our students and staff.”


Gov. Lee’s new law would require school personnel who want to carry a concealed weapon to:

  • Get an enhanced carry permit;

  • Get written authorization from the superintendent, principal and the chief of the appropriate law enforcement agency;

  • Complete 40 hours of basic training in school policing and 40 hours of Peace Officer’s Standards and Training: commission-approved training that is specific to school policing each year at the educator’s expense;

  • Complete a background check; and

  • Undergo a psychological exam conducted by a Tennessee-licensed health care provider.


Cheatham is following in the footsteps of surrounding Middle Tenn. county public schools – including Metro Nashville, Franklin, Robertson, and Williamson – which all also cited strong SRO presence and working relationships with their local police departments as reasons for rejecting the new legislation.

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