Mississippi lawmakers: Schools could let teachers carry guns; te - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi lawmakers: Schools could let teachers carry guns; teachers respond

Mississippi lawmakers have proposed letting teachers and other school employees with special training carry guns onto campus...Source: WLBT Mississippi lawmakers have proposed letting teachers and other school employees with special training carry guns onto campus...Source: WLBT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi lawmakers have proposed letting teachers and other school employees with special training carry guns onto campus.

The Senate Judiciary A Committee on Tuesday amended House Bill 1083, allowing public and private school administrators to establish school safety programs that would allow teachers to carry guns. School employees would have to receive 12 hours of training every two years from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Senate Judiciary A Committee Chairman Briggs Hopson, a Vicksburg Republican, says the bill responds to recent school shootings, including in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed at a high school. President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association support such measures.

Hopson's measure also amends an underlying House bill to bar people with enhanced concealed carry permits from carrying guns into athletic events.That measure would allow people to challenge other gun restriction.

HB 1083 was voted out of the committee Tuesday, with an amendment allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons into the schools, which prompted this response from the Mississippi Association of Educators President Joyce Helmick:

“Today, HB 1083 was voted out of the Senate Judiciary A Committee with an amendment allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons into the schools. Having more guns in schools is not the answer to school safety. In fact, it is the opposite of making schools safer.

The Mississippi Association of Educators vehemently opposes any measure to arm teachers. The role of teachers is to educate our children, not to act as armed guards. This should be left to professional law enforcement, who are skillfully trained for more than 12 hours, which is all the Senate Amendment currently mandates for teachers.

We should let the teachers teach, and let trained law enforcement personnel provide protection to our children, teachers, and school administrators. Teachers are already charged with so many responsibilities outside their roles as educators -- the idea that they should now be asked to serve as armed guards is ridiculous.”

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