A school district in southern Illinois is reportedly looking at becoming the first district in the state to arm its teachers, according from a report coming from WSILTV. Century School District 100 is located just outside of Ullin in Pulaski County and has a student population of about 360.
A Century School board member, said that the district asked its legal team to review Illinois law, to see if a provision that allows districts to hire some employees to carry guns, like school security guards, would also allow teachers and other staff members to do the same, providing they received the proper training.
The district needs to get legal clearance first from the Illinois Attorney General’s office before teachers, administrators, janitors or even cafeteria workers would be allowed to carry guns on school grounds.
Landon Sommers, Century’s superintendent, said that the district has already invested in metal detectors, additional cameras and new emergency doors.
He thinks all options should be on the table and open to discussion before shutting any ideas down.
In a statement from WSILTV Sommers said:
“Some people feel very strongly both ways about it, but I feel it’s something we at least have to consider to make sure our kids are safe. It’s disheartening being in education having this conversation, but with everything going on it’s a conversation we have to have.”
Illinois Education Association President Kathi Griffin said that arming teachers is a terrible idea in a statement from a WSILTV article:
“We need to stop repeating history and tackle the school shooting epidemic head on, but arming our teachers is not the answer. Our teachers and support staff members did not sign up to carry guns! They are not law enforcement. They became teachers and support staff because they wanted to help students learn and succeed.“
There has been many representatives on the right that have pushed the idea of arming teachers and staff at schools since last weeks shooting at a high school in Florida that took 17 lives. President Donald Trump also pushed the idea in his meeting with the victims parents and survivors of the shooting last Friday.
This will likely be an uphill battle for any district that tries to arm its teachers, as many parents have also voice in opposition to the idea as well.
Featured photo via CumberLink