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White County Schools Want Community Input On New Law

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Schools Want Community Input On New Law

The White County School System polling administration, educators, and the White County community on the potential implementation of a new law that allows teachers to carry handguns on campus.

Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said this issue is not as simple as a “yes” or “no” and will require feedback from everyone it would affect. He said allowing qualified teachers to carry weapons on campus could be a deterrent to anyone looking to do harm on school grounds. He also said there is a risk of weapons being left unattended and falling into the wrong hands.

“There’s also concern from some SROs that, you know, a teacher in a building with a handgun is not identifiable by the law enforcement officers that are coming in,” Dronebarger said. “So, they might be mistaken as the perpetrator. So, there’s a lot of different things that we have to think about and that our board’s going to have to consider, that our school community is going to have to consider.”

Dronebarger said the law states that local law enforcement will have to sign off on which individuals are permitted to carry on campus, so he plans to work in conjunction with the White County Sheriff’s Department as he decides how to move forward. He said the school board will be working on how best to keep students and faculty safe with the availability of this new law in mind over the coming months.

“Student safety and the safety of our staff and our just whole school community is of utmost importance,” Dronebarger said. “But this is not a simple kind of black-and-white response. And so, there’s a lot of thoughts that will go into it.”

He said he does not want the responsibility of the decision to rest solely on his shoulders. He said the best way to move forward will be decided upon with the opinions of each school board member, school faculty, and parents involved.

“Weapons have been inadvertently left aside, they’ve been left in bathrooms, they’ve been left in bathrooms, they’ve been left in, you know, classrooms unattended, and if teachers set them aside and forget they’re there, there’s the danger that they can be taken away from teachers,” Dronebarger said.


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