Student Self-Defense Bill Edges Toward Approval

Apr 1, 2013

Rep. Terry Lynn Weaver, Lancaster

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- A bill that would allow students in the state’s public schools to defend themselves if attacked is up for consideration Monday in the Tennessee House.

Republican Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster introduced the bill. She says current zero-tolerance policies mean every student involved in an on campus altercation faces expulsion. Weaver says her measure would allow students to defend themselves, or step in to help another student being assaulted.

“I find it kind of ironic that your natural instinct, when you’re outside of a school zone, is to defend yourself if someone gets aggressive and attacks you first and throws the first punch, but it is not allowed in our schools.”

Some educators have expressed concerns about the bill, noting that it's often nearly impossible to sort out who was responsible for a fight.

The Senate version of the bill passed back in February by a vote of 32 to 0.