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Amended Bill Would Require Armed Personnel In Every School

An amendment to a school safety bill creates a new position called a school protection officer and requires each school to have one.

schoolroom

Photo: Adam DeClercq (flickr)

Every school would be required to have someone trained in using a gun if a bill in the legislature is passed.

Changes made Tuesday to a school safety bill would require armed personnel in every Hoosier public school.

The original bill, as it passed the Senate, encouraged, but did not mandate, Indiana schools to hire school resource officers – trained law enforcement who receive additional training for the school environment.

A House committee approved Tuesday an amendment that creates a new position called a school protection officer and requires each school to have one. The school protection officer would be required to carry a gun but does not need to be a law enforcement officer. Existing school staff, including principals or teachers, could become the school’s protection officer by going through training. What that training involves is not specified in the bill.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), who authored the amendment, says he is trying to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings.

“The only defense against something like that is with a firearm,” he says.

Rep. Vernon Smith (D-Gary) says Lucas’ argument has some validity, but he does not think teachers or principals should be the ones with the guns.

“I served as a principal for 20 years and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to have possession of a gun,” Smith says.

The bill now heads for the House Ways and Means Committee.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • xarpen

    There were armed cops at Columbine. That sure stopped the baddies. Oh wait…

  • Whittier5

    I trust our “fiscal conservative”, Crazy teawhackadoos will step right up to underwrite the salaries of these cops out of their own salaries and assets! IN schools cannot afford this out of their already limited budgets.

    Having taught in an IN school years ago equipped with 2 “protectors”, I had to defend myself and my students several times. The “protectors” were of no help.
    Guns are virtually useless in schools, but raise the danger level to the school and community greatly.

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