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Bill to protect teachers from assault advances out of subcommittee

A Republican proposal aimed at helping protect Tennessee teachers from being assaulted on the job advanced out of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last Wednesday.

House Bill 1934 expands the offences of assault and aggravated assault against first responders or nurses to also include teachers. There are 68,838 public school teachers in Tennessee, according to information from the Tennessee General Assembly Financial Review Committee. The legislation would result in an estimated 69 convictions annually.

“All of our schools have nurses in them that are already protected by this law,” State Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Erin, told members of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday. “Why do we not protect the teachers in the classroom?”

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Assaulting a teacher would be a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $5,000 and mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, according to the bill. Aggravated assault of a teacher would be a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $15,000 and a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail.

House Bill 1934 now heads to the full House Criminal Justice Committee for consideration. More information about the legislation can be found here.

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