ATLANTA — Some Georgia lawmakers are talking about arming teachers.
Georgia law allows a school board to let a teacher pass a screening and training session to legally carry a gun in their school, and Georgia’s lieutenant governor wants to offer $10,000 a year to each teacher who completes the process.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and other Republican lawmakers introduced a proposal this week to beef up security at Georgia’s public schools. It would expand state grants so that districts can hire more security personnel.
But, it would also bolster an existing law, which allows districts to allow specifically screened and trained teachers to carry firearms in their classrooms by offering those educators a $10,000 a year stipend.
Jones said none of this would happen without the local school board’s approval.
“The school board would have to approve it, and the school board would obviously have to select who they would want, you know. You assume that we’re not going to do anything without school board approval,” Jones said.
Sen. Max Burns represents a part of rural East Georgia and said the proposal is a good way for small districts to beef up security.
“We trust our children to those teachers. We trust the lives of these children to our teachers and the school systems. We have confidence they can provide additional security,” he said.
But Lisa Morgan, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, thinks arming teachers is a terrible idea and a dangerously impractical one. She insists the state shouldn’t add “armed security guard” to a long list of teacher job responsibilities.
“My initial reaction is horrified,” Morgan said. “There’s a myriad of issues with this proposal that do not look at the reality of what would happen in these instances.”
The Lieutenant Governor plans to introduce this legislation during the next legislative session.
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