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Students Demand Action Rallies Outside of Tennessee Capitol Following School Walkouts, Protesting Dangerous Arming Teachers Legislation 


Ahead of Arming Teachers Vote in State House, Multiple Nashville Schools Walked Out of Class and Marched to State Capitol Demanding Lawmakers Keep Guns Out of Schools

Photo from Walkouts and Rally Below, Recording Available Here

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee chapters of Students Demand Action, a grassroots network of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after helping organize student-led walkouts from more than five Nashville schools to protest Tennessee lawmakers advancing legislation to arm teachers. These walkouts come in the wake of the one year marker since the tragic school mass shooting at The Covenant School, which killed six people, including three students.

Students were joined by numerous gun-sense champions in the Tennessee legislature, including: Representatives John Ray Clemmons, Gloria Johnson, Bo Mitchell, and State Senator Heidi Campbell. 

“I never thought I’d have to entertain the idea of my teachers carrying around a gun in the classroom,” said Ibti Cheko, a volunteer leader with the Hume Fogg High School Students Demand Action chapter. “We aren’t going to shoot our way out of gun violence. The most important thing we can do to prevent school shootings is by taking action, before tragedy strikes. How do we do that? By passing common-sense gun safety measures like an Extreme Risk law.” 

This is the second time the Tennessee legislature has tried to pass arming teachers since the deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School. Last session, Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action volunteers, and survivors mobilized, calling for action on gun safety, especially an Extreme Risk law, in Tennessee and across the country. In response, Governor Lee called for a special session on public safety, but failed to take any meaningful action on gun safety. Instead, politicians pushed for dangerous legislation that would put more guns in schools.

Research shows that arming teachers introduces new risks of gun violence in schools and puts the lives of students, teachers, and law enforcement in danger – states with the weakest gun laws tend to have higher rates of gun violence than states with stronger gun laws. Tennessee currently has the 12th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States and some of the weakest gun laws in the country.

Gun violence is the leading cause of death among children, teens, and college-aged people nationwide. So far this year, there have been at least 50 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 16 deaths and 35 injuries nationally — five of these incidents took place in Tennessee. 

To speak with a Students Demand Action volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out to