“Who’s Paying For This?” Local School Official Questions Notion of Arming Teachers

Heather Curtis
WMAL.com

WASHINGTON – In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida President Donald Trump and others are calling for some teachers to be allowed to carry concealed weapons in schools.

If laws are created that allow certain teachers to carry guns in schools, many details would need to be worked out including who would give and pay for training and liability issues.

“Who’s paying for this? We don’t have enough money to repair 30-year-old roofs and to train and hire all the teachers we need, let alone buy handguns, train teachers,” said long-time Montgomery County Board of Education member Patricia O’Neill.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair and Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia Corey Stewart said he would like to see localities pay for teachers to be trained by their local sheriff’s departments. Teachers would carry their own personal firearms, not ones provided by the school system.

“I don’t think that would be a significant cost. A locality would not be forced to participate in the program,” Steward said. He added perhaps federal money could supplement the cost.

O’Neill also expressed concerns about liability. Stewart said they could indemnify teachers to protect them in the case of an accident.

State and federal authorization would be needed in order for teachers to carry firearms in schools according to Stewart.

President Trump Tweeted Thursday he wants to look into the possibility of giving concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience.

O’Neill said she doesn’t think President Trump realizes the implications of what he’s Tweeting. She added the Pentagon does have a Troops to Teachers program but said it provides very few teachers to Montgomery County Schools.

Even before last week’s deadly school shooting, Maryland Del. Rick Impallaria, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Harford counties, proposed a bill that would allow certain teachers to carry guns in schools. He told WMAL at the end of January that many of the recent school shootings happened at schools where nobody was armed, which allowed them to go on longer than they should have. He and others argue people are less likely to attack a school if they know people inside are armed.
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