|Posted:||January 7, 2019 03:03 PM|
|From:||Senator Steven J. Santarsiero|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Prohibiting School Districts from Arming Teachers|
|Asking our educators to carry guns in the classroom is a dangerous idea. Schools across the Commonwealth must be safe places for our children and teens to learn free from gun violence.
At present, state law bans weapons in schools except in the case of people who have a lawful purpose to carry a gun or other weapon. As a former teacher, I know firsthand that there is a place in our schools for law enforcement officers who receive extensive training with firearms and how to react in dangerous situations. The job of teachers, on the other hand, is to teach. When school boards vote to arm teachers or other education professionals, they are taking them away from that important mission while at the same time putting our children at risk.
Many parents in my senate district have approached me asking that the General Assembly do something to prevent the carrying of firearms in schools by anyone other than a trained member of local law enforcement. Toward that end, I plan to introduce legislation to clarify current law by expressly prohibiting our teachers, administrators, and other school district employees from carrying a firearm in school.
If we want to make our schools safer, we should focus our efforts on increased security at school entrances and exits, not on arming teachers. Please join me in co-sponsoring this effort to clarify state law by prohibiting teachers and other school employees from carrying guns on school premises.