A bill is pending in the Indiana legislature that would give school teachers the right to carry guns in schools.
State House Bill 1253, which would make it legal for teachers to carry in the classroom, passed a House committee with a vote of 8-2 last week, Fox 59 reported. It will now head to the State House floor for a full vote.
According to Indiana state law, it is up to the individual school district to decide whether they will allow their employees to carry guns in the school. However, the new bill allocates funds for employees to receive gun training.
The Indiana State Teachers Association evaluated the cost per training session to be $750, WTHR News reported.
Indiana high school teacher Aron Bright said, “When evil comes calling at the classroom door it has to be met head on with people who are armed and trained.”
He added, “I think this training is going to give teachers in the state of Indiana the ability to defend the lives of their students. I have the ability and I have the willingness to do so. I just need the authority.”
The bill was introduced by Republican State Rep. Jim Lucas. He agreed to alter the bill eliminating the portion that would have allowed anyone with a license to carry on school grounds.
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One former principal who disagrees with the bill said, “The hundreds and hundreds of teachers I know are not trained to kill another human being, nor do they want that training.”
Keith Gambill, vice president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said, “ISTA maintains that arming teachers is not the appropriate answer to these kinds of safety concerns.”
Gambill added, “We believe that the school safety resources need to be directed at issues that are directly impacting students.”
Gambill, and many other opponents of the bill, believe that funds should be allocated to counseling and mental health services for students, not to gun training.
For supporters of the bill, it’s all about safety.
Lucas said, “This bill is merely just another tool in the toolbox to help our state keep our kids safe.”
This is a highly emotional topic for residents of Indiana who are still feeling the sting from the May 25, 2018 school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School, which left two injured, according to the Indy Star.
The shooter was a 13-year-old student and was not charged as an adult.
The Indiana State Teachers Association plans to follow this bill, which will be headed to the House for a floor vote.