Schools Could Apply For Waiver From Armed Personnel Mandate

Changes made to a school safety bill Tuesday would allow schools to apply for a waiver from the requirement that they have an armed staffer.

school hallway

Photo: saeru (flickr)

The House Ways & Means Committee amended the school safety bill Tuesday.

Changes to a school safety bill made in a House committee Tuesday will allow Indiana public schools to opt-out of a requirement that each facility employ armed personnel.

An amendment approved by the House Ways and Means committee allows public schools to apply for a yearly waiver exempting them from the armed personnel mandate.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) authored the original amendment requiring all schools to employ armed officials, which could include non-law enforcement personnel such as teachers or principals. He says the required 40 hours of firearms training is enough.

“I’m not talking giving teachers or volunteers or staff a firearm and saying, ‘Here, go defend yourself.’ The training is going to be intensive. It’s going to be all-encompassing,” he says.

Nicky McNally, Carmel resident and spokesperson for the grassroots organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, says she is terrified by the idea of minimally trained people with guns in her children’s schools.

“Teachers are responsible for 25 to 30 kids at a time,” she says. “To think that they could possibly react to a shooter the way that a trained police officer would and still take care of those children at the same time is absolutely ridiculous.”

The bill passed the committee Tuesday and now heads to the House floor.

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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