Another School District Arms Its Teachers

By:  Bob Adelmann
07/31/2013
       
Another School District Arms Its Teachers

Little Clarksville, Arkansas, is indicative of the sea change in attitude toward arming teachers that is moving across the country.

The very day that David Lieb, writing for the Huffington Post, concluded that legislation allowing school districts across the country to arm teachers was “stalled," another school district announced that it has adopted just such a policy: Clarksville, Arkansas. Those “stalls”, however, according to Lieb, had little to do with lack of support from legislators but instead from strong resistance from those who are most directly interested (or should be) in the health and well-being of their charges: educators.

In Oklahoma, for example, legislation that would allow school districts to arm teachers never made it to a vote, thanks to opposition from teachers and their unions. Rep. Steve Martin, chairman of the Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee admitted, “As a rule it’s very difficult to find educators and administrators [who] support the idea of putting arms in schools, for whatever reason.” The North Dakota Senate defeated a measure that would have allowed citizens with concealed carry permits to bring their sidearms into schools, while the New Hampshire House refused even to permit its citizens to vote on allowing school districts to arm their teachers.

But Lieb had to admit that such legislation had legs and was gaining momentum, despite his obvious disapproval. He noted that South Dakota passed new legislation allowing armed teachers and that Texas and Utah “already allow teachers and administrators to bring guns to school,” while similar legislation is pending in Minnesota and Indiana, and came close to passing in Michigan.

He failed to mention successful passage of laws in Kansas and Tennessee, but he did acknowledge Arkansas. The Clarksville School District, a small community of 9,200 people located about 100 miles west of Little Rock is not only encouraging teachers to carry but they’re providing funds to help teachers purchase sidearms, along with 53 hours of training to make sure they know how to use them.

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