Posted By: Camila Orti
It's a controversial topic- should teachers be allowed to have guns in school? One Nebraska senator wants to make it an option.
Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen presented his bill to the Judiciary Committee Friday afternoon. If it becomes law, school districts across the state would have the option to allow staff to carry concealed weapons.
Christensen says it's aimed more toward rural districts in the wake of school shootings like Sandy Hook.
"In my district, there's places that's 12 miles to 15 miles for the nearest law enforcement," Christensen said in a news conference.
So if a crisis were to happen, response time could be a problem.
"You think about the number of kids that could be shot in that amount of time is very scary," Christensen said.
With an additional 24 hours of gun training, school staff would be able to carry a concealed weapon if they choose, and if the school district approves them. Schools can choose to not participate at all.
The bill was met with several questions and concerns.
"You are intending that these teachers, in 24 hours of training, develop the mentality it takes in a precious situation to kill a person," Sen. Ernie Chambers said.
"Are we going to subject teachers to the physicals and psych evaluations as we do law enforcement officers?" asked Jay Sears with the Nebraska State Education Association.
Sears stated he and the NSEA oppose the bill. A representative from the Nebraska Association of School Boards was also present, and testified against the bill.
"We should leave carrying deadly weapons in schools up to trained law enforcement professionals," Sears said.
Others in support of the bill also threw around the idea of having lock boxes in schools, where qualified individuals could access the guns inside in the case of an emergency.