Avery Field knows he is not your typical political candidate.
At 23 years old, he doesn't have money set aside to pay staff members or buy campaign swag. As a teacher, he spends a majority of his time with students, not strategizing.
But he said traditional is not what Tennessee needs because traditional candidates have not solved decades-old problems.
"You think about Columbine taking place in 1999. It’s been almost 20 years, and we still can’t keep our students any safer," Field said. "I think we need some new ideas and new solutions to those issues."
Field is running on a multi-faceted platform, but feels strongly about education.
He said in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, he's seen legislators propose solutions without listening to Tennessee teachers, particularly a bill that would arm some educators with guns.
"I had a conversation with some of Sumner County’s educators, and what they were telling me is the expectations on teachers are already incredibly high," Field said. "Adding being the personal bodyguard of our students is something that would make it even more difficult for them to be successful doing their jobs."
Field also said he supports policies that educate the whole child, including a focus on mental health in schools.
"We need to do a better job investing in the entire child and being concerned for the social wellbeing of our students," Field said. "We need to invest in social-emotional learning so they're able to participate and learn, but also to make our schools safer."
Field said he knows some may have a hard time looking past his age, but he said Tennessee can not afford to wait for new leaders to step forward.
"I’ve had the question of, 'Why not wait until you’re older? Why not get some more experience?'" Field said. "Then I looked at the issues that are in front of us and thought if the lawmakers we have today have experience, that’s not what we need. What we need are people that are passionate. We need people who have new ideas, and people who are willing to stand up and say, 'We need solutions to these problems, and we need them now.'"
Field is running as a Republican to represent District 45, which covers parts of Goodlettsville, Gallatin, Hendersonville, and more. You can read more about his platform here.