This legislative session, which began Jan. 14, brings with it the popular topic of guns in schools. A number of bills based on the education arena will be brought to the table, but the current issue is gaining the most debate.
In the pre-filed stage, is whether the state government should provide guns to school principals or allow them to carry guns.
Dickson, who represents House District 6, emphasized his strong beliefs in Second Amendment rights, but was cautious of endorsing a bill to allow guns in schools.
“There is a problem with allowing guns into schools by a person that is not highly trained. We could either train the person or allow it to be a local option,” Dickson said about the popular topic to be discussed for weeks to come. “I hope they don't adopt this legislation without taking a closer look at it.”
Dickson referred to the recent craze as knee-jerk legislation, in which something happens and the state rushes to create laws for it, he said. But these laws can cause more problems down the road, he said.
Though the House is talking gun legislation, Dickson said the budget will be the primary topic during this session.
Over the past six years, grades kindergarten through 12th have received funding cuts, according to Dickson. The larger burden of funding education has been placed on local municipalities, an uneven ration of funding Dickson hopes to equal out.
“I am more interested in restoring funding to existing programs,” Dickson said as an alternative to creating more programs to fund. “Communities have to make up for funding on the local level. There needs to be fair distribution.”
Rep. Tom Dickson of Cohutta
Represents District 6, which includes Whitfield County and northern Murray County.
Committees: Appropriations (member); Education (vice chairman)
Capital address: 245 State Capital, Atlanta, Ga. 30334
Capital phone: 404-463-2247
Local address: 5043 Village Drive, Cohutta, Ga. 30710