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


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Let's Honor Luther

I would like to challenge the city.  There are two ways we could honor Luther.  Build a new facility for the Humane Society and name it after Luther.  Then we should create an academy for young people in the city to teach them how to be like Luther, learn to be of service to your fellow man. What about it Chattanooga?  Karen Dale Hixson (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon, Then 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Later Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Advances In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)