Professional Educators Of Tennessee Support Protecting Our Children

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Re:  Roy Exum:  Yes, Teachers Should Carry

I read the article by Roy Exum Yes, Teachers Should Carry and could not let his misstatements and inaccuracies pass without a response.  I tried to contact him several times via email and Facebook and got no response.  I even left him my telephone number. Obviously he must be too busy to give me a call.      

Exum wrote: “Two trade groups for teachers, the National Education Association and the Professional Educators of Tennessee, are solidly against the proposed legislation. Both groups are known to be quite liberal (read “beard strokers”) and appear oblivious to the fact that more “legal guns” were just registered to Americans in December than in any other month in the country’s history.” 

We consider our position a pragmatic solution to the issue, and have taken the lead in speaking out on the issue on behalf of educators.  First and foremost, we want the decision left to the local education agency (school district).  We oppose the state prohibiting teachers from carrying guns or for that matter mandating that they carry arms.  We support the very effective SRO Program and hope it will be expanded into every school.  We support increased safety measures from bulletproof glass when feasible to safer school design in the future. We think locks on classroom doors are a good thing.  School entry points need to be secured.  We support every option that makes schools safe for students and school employees.  We didn’t get in this position overnight and there will be no quick fixes either.   

If that position makes Professional Educators of Tennessee a liberal organization, it certainly will be news to people across the state.  But it will be a label we embrace if it saves the life of even one child or school employee.  

However, I am perplexed at how Roy Exum reached that position as he never once talked to anyone in our organization or looked at our position.  I can only assume Exum read the headlines in another newspaper, which then clearly spelled out our well-articulated position of leaving the decision in the hands of the local school district as well as the other talking points.  

I am not sure what a “beard stroker” is, but it sounds like it has a dirty connotation.  Additionally, I am registered to carry a handgun in this state and I am a former United States Marine.  Growing up in Bradley County, I guess I probably know as much about guns as you can read in a book on Lookout Mountain.  Mr. Exum, I expected more from you since you have a journalistic background.   I was severely disappointed.  

J. C. Bowman
Executive Director
Professional Educators of Tennessee

Petty County Tyrants - And Response (2)

Last week's County Commission meeting was quite a show. Ironically, the preacher giving the opening invocation asked that "truth may prevail" because that is the opposite of what happened. What we actually saw was bickering, verbal attacks, and a collapse of democratic discourse. It is typically not my approach to "attack" individuals, but as each commissioner made public statements, ... (click for more)

Enforce The Bond Forfeiture In Padgett Case

Now that Christopher Padgett  was taken into custody by the Chattanooga Police Department and checked back into the Hamilton County jail, I trust the judge will do no favors and enforce the forfeiture of Padgett's entire $350,000 bond. Padgett was accused of murder, he was granted $350,000 bond and he ran. Padgett was found guilty. A convicted murderer was ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

PETA And Humane Educational Society Offer Reward For Torture-Killing Of Dog After Envelope Mailed From Chattanooga

An envelope postmarked from Chattanooga and containing a photo of a dog strung between two trees arrived at PETA's office in Virginia Tuesday, along with the severed ear of a dog. PETA members are offering a reward of $5,000-and the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga has added another $1,000-for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible ... (click for more)

CCS Wins, Notre Dame Falls in A-AA State Soccer Tourney

MURFREESBORO -- Chattanooga Christian sophomore Addie Henry celebrated her 16th birthday in style here Wednesday night with a goal and an assist to help CCS defeat Madison Academic Magnet (Jackson, Tenn. – 16-5-3), 3-0, in a A-AA state quarterfinal match played at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Teammates Kyra Duble and Olivia Hoffman also scored goals, while Taylor Price ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Mocs Hoops Looking For Huge Season

In the midst of what is an exciting college football season, I thought we might talk some college hoops as the Chattanooga Mocs are gearing up for what could be an amazing 2016-2017 season. Coach Matt McCall returns practically every starter from last year's squad that won the SoCon regular season and tournament titles as well as a school record 29 wins. The Mocs scored wins at ... (click for more)