This guest post is from Janet Stake, a board member of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education of Monroe County. Note: HB 1253 was amended in committee. It would provide grant money to schools to train teachers and other school employees to use guns. It passed its second reading in the House today, February 14. It will receive its third reading early next week.
As a retired teacher and school counselor, with years of experience in high school, including a high poverty one, I can not emphasize enough how House Bill 1253 will inevitably have unintended consequences:
1) The verified teacher shortage in Indiana will actually increase. The profile of a typical teacher is not the same as the profile of law enforcement personnel. Both have roles to play in serving society but now you are asking for teachers to enter a domain that they never had even a tiny bit of interest in pursuing.
2) The "good guy with a gun" myth does not tend to pan out to stop an active shooter. It is not easy to hit a target when the shooter is moving and is actively shooting others. Have you even asked law enforcement what they think of this proposed bill? Law enforcement generally does not support arming teachers because they do understand the myth that is being promulgated by the NRA.
3) Businesses will not come to Indiana, and many businesses will leave. It will be too risky to set up shop here because businesses do care about the quality of our schools and whether or not the schools are safe. Arming teachers adds a whole new dimension of unknowns in the safety of schools.
4) Replacing school resource officers with teachers will cause a shortage of well-trained people on school grounds. With all of the tasks assigned to teachers today, do you really think that they will gladly take on this role, as well? If so, then I believe you have not even bothered to ask teachers this critical question.
5) More guns in schools will mean more school shootings. The evidence all around the world and in our own country is clear on this issue. You should know this.
6) When you allocate money for arms training, you are inevitably taking money away from other critical school safety programs.
7) More innocent students and teachers will be shot and killed, by other teachers. Even if teachers successfully go through training, it does not make them experts or sharpshooters who will not make huge errors. The consequences of their actions are too big to bear physically and emotionally.
8) Schools will become more like police states. More guns means more weapons that need to be secured, and more scrutiny of children on school grounds.
Indiana's legislators must stop listening to the NRA. The NRA's concern is to promote gun sales, not to promote the well being of the American people, our schools, or our children. If the NRA had their way we would all be walking around carrying firearms at all times. This is insanity and it is not civilization. Lawmakers should listen to actual experts who have done the research on guns and gun violence.
Tell your legislator to vote no on HB 1253.
Not sure who your legislator is? Click here to find out.
Is this what you want teachers in your school district learning?