Public school teachers will be packing heat this Fall in 28 states to protect their students all the way from kindergarten through high school.
Adults who legally own guns will be allowed to carry them in public schools this coming academic year. Teachers or staff who choose to carry a firearm in their classrooms are not required to tell principals, other teachers, or parents. Only five of those states have completely open access to concealed-carry permit information through public records requests. However, other states seal off those records to the public.
In states where those public records are sealed, parents may have no idea that their teacher is armed in the classroom. After the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting back in December 2012, the threat of an attack by an armed gunman in elementary and high schools prompted five states to give school administrators the authority to arm their teachers.
One elementary teacher from Salt Lake City named Kasey Hansen plans to bring her gun to school this fall and sees it as a measure of protection not only for her, but most importantly, her students.
“I never really thought about it before Sandy Hook,” said Hansen, who was teaching when she heard about the attack. “It just killed me. It’s something personal when you mess with students or children, teachers take it very personally, and it’s as if you were messing with one of our own.”
Hansen also said she has a responsibility to protect her students, and as their teacher, is the first line of defense for the kids at school.
“I think every teacher should carry,” Hansen said. “We are the first line of defense. Someone is going to call the cops, and they are going to be informed, but how long is it going to take for them to get to the school? And in that time, how many students are going to be affected by the gunman roaming the halls?”
Although having armed teachers in the classroom may seem like a good safety precaution to some, others believe it might present more of a risk than a reward. Member of the board of directors of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, Steven Gunn, said:
“A teacher could begin returning fire to a person who is attacking the school and in the process kill children,” Gunn said. “It’s just a very unhealthy, unsafe situation, and teachers, unless they receive special training, simply wouldn’t know how to handle a crisis situation.”
For more on which states allow teachers to carry concealed weapons, click here.
SOURCE: USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty