Rep. Eric Watson Says NRA Backing His School Safety Act Of 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rep. Eric Watson said the National Rifle Association is backing his School Safety Act of 2013.

He said, "Legislators have heard from countless constituents asking for more security in public schools. Since the drafting of this bill, four school shootings have taken place and more than nine states have inquired about his legislation for consideration in their states."

He said after the Virginia Tech shooting occurred in 2007, the Tennessee General Assembly began working on campus safety in 2008.



“Our community must continue to be vigilant in protecting our children. In Southeast Tennessee, we have a strong sense of responsibility that is the greatest safeguard (defense) against violence in our schools,” Rep. Watson said. “Schools choosing to adopt the policy will have the option to hire security or appoint highly trained staff, with training which is similar to a school resource officer which will be an additional safeguard (safety measure/defense) in protecting students.”

Current state law prohibits public schools from hiring armed security guards, he said.

Rep. Watson noted that not all schools across Tennessee have school resource officers, including several within his district. “School Resource Officers are an important part of the solution to the threats facing our students. However, SRO’s are often tasked with other responsibilities such as in-service training and court that prevent their presence at all times in our schools. This legislation will allow the local school system to fill in those gaps,” Rep. Watson stated.

“Since 2008, Campus safety has been studied by the General Assembly and it's time we take action and give our local schools more options to protect our kids.” he said.

Of the 132 members of the Tennessee General Assembly, only seven received an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, he noted. Rep. Watson was one of those seven and he pointed out that he is the only member of the General Assembly who provides free handgun permit classes for the constituents of his district.


TBI Releases Studies On Domestic Violence And Law Enforcement Officers

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released on Monday two studies, detailing the nature and extent of domestic violence and instances of law enforcement officers attacked while on duty.  In both studies, the TBI presents data submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System.  Among the findings in “Domestic ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With Gang Background Sent Away For 57 Months

A Chattanooga man that prosecutor Chris Poole said has a gang background was sent away to federal prison for 57 months on Monday morning. Darius Hyatte appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. Prosecutor Poole said his brother, Dominic Wright, was shot and killed in 2014. Hyatte, himself, was shot in the right arm in 2010 when he was hanging around the East Lake Courts. ... (click for more)

Hall Tax Reduction Is Right For Tennessee

In a move to make Tennessee more economically competitive and give relief to state of Tennessee taxpayers, the General Assembly passed major tax reform legislation this year by reducing the state’s Hall income tax and establishing a timeline for full repeal.  While Tennessee is always included in the list of nine states with no income tax, we often see an asterisk by our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow

Years ago at a ritzy dinner party in Westchester County, New York, an editor from Reader’s Digest was seated next to the prettiest woman in the room and noticed her overall glow and countenance was such that he had never noticed a tell-tale scar under her nose. After the dishes were cleared away, admit the mindless chatter, he asked if she would mind telling him about it. The ... (click for more)

Slegers, Lookouts Shutout Biscuits Sunday, 1-0

Less than 24 hours after steamrolling the Lookouts 12-0 on Saturday night, the Biscuits bats were silenced by Aaron Slegers (2-1), as the 6'10" right-hander shutout the Biscuits 1-0 on Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga.   Slegers eight inning performance was his longest in 11 career Double-A starts and was the longest outing by a Lookouts pitcher this year.  The right-hander ... (click for more)

Baylor Baseball Complex Dedicated to the Etters and Wyatt McMahan

It was the summer of 1961 and a 10-year-old boy and a college grad were starting their baseball journey – a journey which would eventually connect them for decades to come. While Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and the then home run record of 60 round trippers, Wyatt McMahan was in his first year in Joe Engel’s Knothole League in White Oak ... (click for more)