Insider: School Teachers to Carry Guns and Make Arrests
Lawmakers in the state of North Carolina are currently considering a new bill. It would allow teachers to carry guns, make arrests on campus and even be rewarded for their efforts with a raise. The one catch, however, they must agree to attend police firearm training.
Details of the School Security Act of 2019
Dubbed the School Security Act of 2019, the recently filed legislation would give teachers the permission to carry guns in their classrooms. However, they would need to meet the basic police training requirements. This would then result in a new position called a “teacher resource officer” which comes with a 5% salary increase. The pay raises for the armed teachers and the cost of police training will ultimately cost the state of NC almost $9.5 million. In addition to carrying a weapon, the trained teacher resource officers would have the same authority as police officers while on campus. They would also have the ability to make arrests if needed.
Teachers React to Carrying Guns on School Campus
Even if the legislation passes, it is not clear if it will be popular with teachers in North Carolina. Due to the varying opinions on gun rights in the area, it really is up in the air. Many teachers have indicated that they are not interested in carrying guns in school. In fact, according to a National Education Association poll in 2018 of 1,000 members, it appears that most teachers are not fans of the new legislation.
National Education Association Poll Results About Teachers Carrying Guns:
- 82% of teachers indicated that they would not be open to carrying a gun in school
- 61% of teachers who are current gun owners are against the proposal to arm teachers in classrooms
- 2/3 of teachers said they would not feel safe if teachers were allowed to carry guns at school
More States Announce Efforts to Arm Teachers Around the Country
More and more states are getting on board with the idea of having armed teachers in our schools. Last summer Alabama school administrators began the process of training and arming staff. However, this voluntary program was only available to those schools with no current school resource officer.
Currently, this is what our states are allowing schools:
- 10 states allow concealed carry in schools
- 8 states allow school employees other than security personnel to carry guns in schools
- 25 states allow schools or districts to delegate permission to individuals to carry guns in schools
Failed Efforts Have Not Discouraged NC Lawmakers
The new School Security Act of 2019 is not North Carolina’s first effort to arm the state’s teachers. Attempted legislative efforts in the past to put more guns in North Carolina schools have ultimately all failed. In fact, a similar bill was introduced earlier this year that was denied. The main difference between the School Security Act of 2019 and the failed bill is that the old proposal did not include a pay raise as an incentive for teachers. State leaders are hoping that this new monetary incentive will help it pass through with success.