Educators, residents give mixed opinions on Georgia’s controversial proposal to arm teachers

KINGSLAND, Ga. — A new push by Georgia’s lieutenant governor to arm teachers in the classroom is raising controversy among educators and the public.


The new proposal by Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones would pay teachers a $10,000 incentive for agreeing to carry guns at school, and Action News Jax Nick Gibson heard a mixed bag of reactions from residents in the Southeast Georgia area about the idea.

Right now, Georgia law allows teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools if approved by school leaders.

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Jessica MccMillen, who has a student at Camden County Middle School, said she isn’t opposed to the idea.

“I think [it’s okay] as long as it’s a choice and it’s not mandatory for the teachers,” she told Gibson. “I think with Georgia allowing open carry and right across the state lines in Florida offering concealed carry, I think it’s a great move.”

MccMillen also said she is hopeful that teachers who are okay with the idea get proper training for firearms. She even said there’s nothing that scares her about this idea.

“Because in our everyday lives, you don’t know who is concealed carrying or open carrying, and they are allowed to be out in the public where your students are,” she said.

Read: Georgia lieutenant governor wants to pay teachers to go through firearms training for the classroom

While some like MccMillan agree with arming teachers, David Smashum and his wife Sylvia think this is a bad idea for the state of Georgia.

“I understand they want security in the schools, and they want children to be safe,” said Sylvia. “But there has to be another way than to have every teacher walking around with a handgun.”

Jones’ proposal will be presented during the 2024 legislative session.

Read: Lewiston shootings: At least 18 killed, 13 injured, Maine governor says

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