Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Bill Requires Every Indiana School To Employ A Gun-Carrying Staff Member

A mock school lockdown training exercise.

An Indiana House lawmaker has proposed requiring every school in the state to employ a staff member who carries a gun, whether it’s a police officer or a trained teacher.

General Assembly members originally authored the bill in hopes of paying for more school resource officers in the state’s schools. But a House panel amended the bill Tuesday, as IPBS statehouse reporter Brandon Smith reports:

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.

After Tuesday’s amendment, the bill creates a new position — 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, though what that training involves isn’t specified in the bill.

“With Sandy Hook, with Virginia Tech, with Columbine — those were places that were gun-free zones,” said Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, who authored the amendment, “and we see the results of that. This bill is trying to prevent that.”

Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, says Lucas’ argument has some validity, but he doesn’t 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 said.

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

Comments

  • facepalm

    So when is Lucas going to propose how to pay for his new mandate? Or is that to be someone else’s problem?

  • WDS68

    Is there any sanity left among our state leaders. What started out as an understandable piece of legislation to put law enforcement officers in school buildings (still debatable but understandable) has degraded into legislation that lets Mrs. Butterbutt, the old English teacher to pack heat to protect the kids, or worse some Call of Duty Wannabe Special Ops administrator with an AK looking for action. Plus no money for training or any hint of how to screen or administer passing guns out to staff members. Believe me if some teachers I know in our building get a gun I want one to to protect me from them.

  • Karynb9

    Columbine HAD an armed security guard on-site — a sheriff’s deputy named Neil Gardner. He responded to the scene and exchanged gunfire with one of the shooters. Lucas needs to do his research. It’s actually pretty easy, Rep. Lucas — just open up an internet browser…go to http://www.google.com and type in “Columbine armed security guard” and find a whole page full of search results.

    Okay, so let’s say that I’m an elementary school teacher AND the designated “school protection officer” at my building, and there is some type of “alert” about a possible armed intruder in the building. Am I supposed to leave my classroom full of children unattended during a lockdown while I go hunt for the intruder??? What happens if I’m home sick for the day — does each building need to have a back-up “school protection officer”? At what cost?

    Maybe schools will at least give out ECA pay for this. I can see the ECA salary schedule now — “Cheerleading Sponsor…$850. Math Club Sponsor…$600. Barney Fife Wannabe…$500.”

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