By: Krystle Crossman
Last week a new law was signed in Oklahoma that is stirring up controversy. The new law allows certain school staff members to carry a concealed firearm on them while in the school building. The school board decides which staff members are allowed to carry guns into school. They must first go through a firearms safety training course. They must also complete a reserve peace officer training course. If these conditions are met and the school board designates the staff member they are allowed to carry a gun on them at any time while in the school building. There are some school districts within the state that are not going to be taking part in this new law.
The public school district in Tulsa states that it probably will not be designating any staff members to carry weapons as the majority of the teachers are not comfortable with it. The director of communications for the Tulsa school board stated that they developed a police station just for the schools and so far that has been working out really well for them. Well enough that they do not feel the need to allow firearms in their schools. The director, Chris Payne, states that he feels that firearms in their schools would be a very bad situation and there would be constant worry about the firearms getting into the hands of the wrong person. He stated that this law is better suited for areas that do not have quick access to police officers in case of an emergency.
The new law has parents worried as well. What if a gun were to fall into the wrong hands? What if a teacher overreacts? What if the bullet ricochets and hit another student? Many feel that there are too many what ifs to take such a big risk in the schools. The president of the National School Safety and Security Services, Kenneth Trump, feels that this is a very bad idea. He feels that trained security resource officers in the schools should be their first line of defense as opposed to a staff member carrying a gun on them. Even though the staff members would be going through training it is still not the full training that a police officer has to deal with any situation that they may face.
How would you feel about sending your children to school knowing that there is a teacher armed with a weapon? Would you feel that your children are safer or in more danger?