A number of states are moving to pass laws allowing teachers to be armed while in class and on campus in the wake of the second-worse school shooting in the country’s history last week in Uvalde, Texas.
“Arming teachers has had mixed results in the past due to varying levels of participation. A 2020 report from the RAND Corporation found that 28 states already permit armed teachers under certain circumstances, while others, including Texas and Florida, have passed laws specifically encouraging the practice,” The Washington Examiner reported in its “Restoring America” section.
In Ohio, a bill allowing teachers in Ohio to carry firearms is headed to the desk of GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said that he’ll sign it.
“My office worked with the General Assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training,” DeWine said of the bill. “House Bill 99 accomplishes these goals, and I thank the General Assembly for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers.”
Once enacted, the bill will add Ohio to a list of several states that already allow teachers to be armed.
In Louisiana, state lawmakers led by GOP state Sen. Eddie Lambert have also proposed legislation that would allow teachers to be armed on school grounds.
The measure requires teachers to undergo specialized training before they are allowed to carry a firearm on school property.
“You don’t want anybody who is not fully trained in this situation: This is not for just some Joe Blow,” Lambert said, according to NBC.
The Examiner added:
The state where the Robb Elementary shooting took place has had a law on the books allowing teachers to sign up as “marshals” and carry firearms on campus since 2013.
But across the Lone Star State, less than 300 teachers statewide have taken part in the program, Politico reported. The state also maintains a so-called guardian program that is less regulated than the registered teacher marshals, but participation in that program is also fairly low.
Following a 2018 school shooting, Florida state lawmakers passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which established the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program that provides training and firearms instruction to teachers.
“According to the Florida Department of Education, 45 counties currently participate in the program, which provides funding to county sheriff’s offices to train and screen school employees interested in participating in the program. Participants are also provided a stipend,” the Examiner noted.