Teachers in Georgia will soon be able to carry concealed weapons on campus–in a bid to increase school safety and stop school shootings.
Laurens County, Georgia–a rural county with 50,000 residents–announced that they would approve a bill arming teachers. Other counties, including Floyd and Bleckley Counties, are also considering similar plans.
In 2012, Georgia’s state government made it legal for school districts to arm teachers–but, until now, no district had taken action to allow teachers to carry weapons on campus.
But following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Laurens County decided to take action.
School superintendent Daniel Brigman explained that, because Laurens County is rural, police simply can’t get on the scene of the crime fast enough–meaning that teachers are the only ones who would be able to stop a school shooting before it becomes a massacre.
“Look at the shootings that have taken the most lives,” said Brigman. “The shooter was done in about 10 minutes.”
The sheriff’s department in Laurens County is currently working with Brigman to develop a training plan. Teachers would not be forced to carry weapons if they didn’t want to.
But a recent poll conducted by the the Professional Association of Georgia Educators suggest that many of them will: the poll found that 47% of teachers would at least consider carry a gun if they were allowed to do so by law.