President Donald Trump hosted governors from around the country at the White House Monday for an open conversation on gun policy.
Trump has proposed arming up to 20 percent of the nation’s teachers in recent days. Some governors, specifically Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, argued against Trump’s proposal for arming teachers.
However, two governors stood up and proudly defended their state’s policy of allowing teachers to carry a weapon.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave a heartfelt explanation as to why his state allows teachers to carry firearms. Abbott said that 100 school districts in Texas allow teachers to carry and that some schools put “warning signs out front” to scare would-be shooters. Abbott said:
Texas authorized to schools adopt policies to implement a school marshal program where individuals would be trained to have a weapon, to be able to use that weapon and we now have well over 100 school districts in the state of Texas where teachers or other people who work in the school do carry a weapon and are trained to be able to respond to an attack that occurs.
It is not always a schoolteacher, it could be a coach, it could be an administrator. It could be anybody who works in that school. It is a well thought out program with a lot of training in advance and at least some school districts promote it. They will have signs out front, a warning sign, be aware there are armed personnel on campus. Warning anybody coming in there that they — if they attempt to cause any harm they will be in trouble.
The governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, also stood up and thoughtfully expressed why his state allows teachers to conceal carry.
Mr. President, I just want to say in Arkansas we have a very similar situation or program as Texas. I have the belief that no teacher should be compelled, and most of them want to teach and focus on that, but others are concerned about their students and have training and specific capacity as you described. We have licensed certain school districts and to those who want to be trained more significantly so that they can handle an active shooter situation.
We have over 13 schools in Arkansas that can’t afford a school resource officer. They prefer to have those either in classroom or an assistant coach or someone I would have a response capability and that is the key thing. That flexibility, I think with the governors want to say is we can’t have it as a national security plan but the states can develop this. We did make some recommendations back in 2012 in reference to federal grants, some of the biggest expense is training, some of the biggest expense will be the hardening of our schools. I hope your department of homeland security, looking at some of the grants that come from DHS in terms of security, some of that money can be utilized for local jurisdictions as well for the protection, the number one priority, protecting her students in our schools.