The Denver Channel reports that lawmakers in North Carolina are once again trying to push teachers to carry guns. The School Security Act of 2019 would give any teacher who agrees to undergo basic police training a 5% boost to their salary.
The bill explains that the “teacher resource officers” could carry guns- concealed or not- and they would have the same arrest power as a police officer. In North Carolina, most public schools already have a certified police officer, known in the schools as a school resource officer.
One of the sponsors of the bill, Republican State Senator Warren Daniel, said the bill “is a way to put a lot of security on the grounds in our schools.” He continued, "It's extremely costly to put a school resource officer in every school ... and there's a great shortage of the number of applicants to law enforcement agencies. This bill is an attempt to bridge that gap."
Daniel, along with two other Republican lawmakers, introduced the same bill last session. It died in committee. Another similar bill has been proposed this year in the state House, but it didn’t include a salary raise.
According to a 2018 poll administered by the National Education Association, the majority of teachers are opposed to carrying a gun in school. The president of the association, Mark Jewell, said the bill was “a disaster waiting to happen.”
"We don't need firearms in our schools," Jewell said. "Guns could endanger both students and other adults in the building."
The National Education Association supports taking other security measures, including improving building structures.
"Teachers need to be armed with support specialists such as psychologists, counselors and nurses to address the social, emotional and psychological health needs of our students," Jewell added.