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Officials Grapple With Arming Teachers
Updated May 5, 2013 12:12 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - A state Senator says Indiana teachers should be able to carry firearms in the classroom as long as they are properly trained and willing to do it.

Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, said when it comes to keeping students safe, he believes an armed security guard isn't enough.

"These schools are thousands of square feet, multiple floors, some of your grade schools are multiple buildings," he said. "So to put that much reliance on one individual to be the superman - it's really not reasonable."

Dustin Grove of WISH TV8 reports that Tomes claims classroom teachers are truly the first responders.

"And I've explained it this way. If you were drowning in deep water, would you want the lifeguard to come to your aid or would you want the lifeguard to call 911 and wait five to seven minutes for the ambulance to show up?"

A Texas school district allows teachers to bring weapons to school. Other states are considering legislation that would allow teachers to be trained to use firearms.

Tomes said since mentioning the idea in December, he's heard from people who support his idea in Indiana - including teachers and administrators.

But not all are on board.

Nate Schnellenberger, President of the Indiana State Teacher's Association says he's not sure that is such a good idea. He believes not all teachers will feel comfortable carrying a gun. And that carrying a concealed weapon is a risk of having that weapon taken away from the teacher.

Lebanon Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor said he does not support arming "untrained or unqualified" teaching staff.

But Tomes said teachers would not be mandated to carry a firearm, and that those who volunteer would be required to do extensive training.

Tomes said there is no actual legislation proposed for Indiana, but he wants his proposal to be a part of the public conversation about gun control.

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