Sanford: Hopefully Haslam’s approach to school safety wins out

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Political leaders in Tennessee say they want to keep students safe at school, but how to go about it is far different depending on who`s talking.

At the moment, the most sensible plan is coming from Governor Bill Haslam.

Last month in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland Florida, Haslam formed a task force to recommend ways to make Tennessee schools safer.

On Tuesday, the governor updated this year`s budget proposal to add $30 million for school safety. How the extra money will be spent is uncertain and will depend on recommendations coming from the task force, but Haslam has made it clear he does not support arming teachers.

For one thing, the governor does not believe many teachers want to go armed at school. Plus, he thinks doing so could create other unintended safety concerns.

State lawmakers, however, believe just the opposite.

A bill allowing some teachers to carry guns on campuses got the okay in yet another House committee on Tuesday and appears to be moving up the chain toward final passage.

While Haslam`s proposal does not include specifics, it seems obvious that most of the $30 million could be used for trained security officers in more schools particularly in rural areas.

That is far better than putting safety solely in the hands of armed teachers.

Hopefully, the governor`s approach wins out.

Commentary by Otis Sanford