Hamilton County sheriff, school superintendent consider arming teachers

Tennessee state legislation also would allow some educators to carry firearms

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson speaks about plans for progress over the next several years during an editorial board meeting at the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Chattanooga.

Hamilton County's sheriff and school superintendent have discussed the possibility of arming teachers in county schools.

"We're all looking for resources and ideas for the best way to protect Hamilton County," Sheriff Jim Hammond said. The "least expensive of all the choices," Hammond said, would be to ask faculty members who are familiar with guns to carry on campuses.

These teachers would serve "only as a stopgap measure to keep the shooter at bay until the police arrive," he said.

The local conversation about how to ensure schools are safe and whether teachers should be armed has taken off in light of the shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month and a situation in which a teacher barricaded himself inside a classroom with a gun in Dalton, Ga., on Wednesday.