“Tennessee Three” Did Not Support School Safety Bill Prior to Protest

(NationalUSNews.com) – The Board of Commissioners in Shelby County, Tennessee, has voted to send Justin Pearson back to his seat in the House of Representatives. Pearson is a Democrat and one of the “Tennessee Three,” now known for their gun reform protest in the House of Representatives. The “Tennessee Three” staged their protest following the devastating school schooting at The Covenant School in Nashville. The other two members of the group are Representatives Justin Jones and Gloria Johnson.

Pearson and Jones were ousted by a House vote in Nashville due to the protest. Johnson was not voted out. Pearson and Jones are black, Johnson is white, and all three claim the result was racially motivated. GOP leaders explain that the protest disrupted the decorum of the proceedings, and that their respective actions resulted in the two expulsions. After a recent vote by the Nashville Metropolitan Council, Representative Jones is also returning to his seat in the House.

Due to the actions and platforms of the “Tennessee Three,” discussions have surfaced concerning a school safety measure called House Bill 322. The Bill makes an effort to tackle the issues of keeping children safe in both public and private schools, including mandated active shooter training for students, administration and security guards. The Bill requires locked doors for classrooms, hallways and entrances, and recommends punitive measures for schools who do not comply. Introduced prior to the shooting at The Covenant School, Bill 322 includes added measures in direct response to the tragedy.

Four representatives did not support Bill 322. Pearson, Jones, Johnson and Representative Torrey Harris dissented, stating that the measure did not address the root causes of school vulnerabilities. They said the requirements would turn schools into prisons, and that the Bill is a political spectacle with ineffective results.

House Bill 322 has now passed in the House with support from both sides of the aisle. It will soon be considered in the Senate.

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