Concerns raised over proposed bill allowing AL teachers to carry firearms
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - State Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, will introduce a bill into legislation allowing some public school teachers and administrators to be armed at school.
According to Ainsworth, the bill will allow Alabama public school teachers and administrators to undergo firearms training, arming themselves against attacks during school.
Ainsworth said the decision came shortly after the news of a Florida high school shooting Wednesday. Educators in his area asked him to introduce the legislation allowing them to protect themselves. However, some educators and parents are voicing their concerns over this bill.
Scenes from Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is still resonating with parents and educators in Montgomery.
"I think it is horrific. I think it is a tragedy," said parent Christina Miller.
"My mind goes into, 'Ok, what do I need to do to make sure my kids are safe?" said teacher Tynisa Williams.
With this particular piece of legislation, Ainsworth believes the potential threat of something like the Florida high school shooting could be drastically reduced.
However it's legislation.
Christina Miller, a mother of four, would oppose.
"I think having more guns around our children will make us even more unsafe. This would be one situation I would consider pulling my kids from the public school system," said Miller.
Miller said public school teachers are stretched thin and this responsibility shouldn't be placed on them.
"We ask so much of our public school teachers. They have to be teachers, parents, social workers, doctors, nurses. This isn't something we need to add on to them. We already expect so much out of them. I wouldn't want to put any more on them," said Miller.
As a veteran and eighth-grade teacher, Williams couldn't agree more.
"A teacher is not security. We are not the police," she said.
Williams said she would lay her life down for her students at a moment's notice, but she is concerned unforeseen consequences could arise during an attack if she was armed.
"I can't shoot at someone knowing that if he shoots back at me my kids can get hit. I can't put my kids in that danger," said Williams.
Some believe the resources spent on training teachers and administrators could go towards securing schools in an different way.
"I would rather go through the inconvenience of bringing them through a metal detector, than depend on teachers or other administrators to police our schools when we have police," said Williams.
AEA President Sherry Tucker released a statement saying, "The proposed legislation has yet to be filed so we are reserving comment until we have the opportunity to read and review the bill. However, AEA is looking forward to working with Rep. Ainsworth to ensure the safety of all students and staff in Alabama schools."
Ainsworth mentioned that part of the bill would require any teacher wanting to be armed to be APOST certified by law enforcement.
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