Hoosiers weigh in on arming teachers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Should school teachers be armed in the classroom? It’s a debate that has both sides talking, but what’s the word here in Indiana? At least one lawmaker says it’s time to arm teachers, yet some are pushing back.

“It was terrifying,” said teacher Katherine Posada who was hiding with students inside Stoneman Douglas high school as a shooter prowled the halls, killing seventeen.

“I did sort of make a conscious effort to keep it together for my students,” said Posada, “because I knew that if I freaked out, they would freak out.”

Friday, back at IU Bloomington, her alma mater, Posada was telling that story to teachers-in-training, where she also addressed whether teachers should be armed.

“I think that is a terrible idea,” said Posada.

It’s a question the nation is asking itself.

“Absolutely, I’m 100 percent in favor of allowing those teachers that want to carry, to carry,” said Indiana State Representative Jim Lucas (R), of Seymour. Lucas is exploring legislation on the issue, but the idea is not sitting well with many educators.

“If I’m armed and I have a weapon, my students no longer respect me,” said Posada, “they respect my weapon…and that is not conducive to teaching.”

Lucas disagrees with that view.

“Yes, there will be an acclimation period, there will be a teaching period where we teach the kids,” said Lucas, “but just like anything else, they’ll get used to it.”

The Indiana State Teachers Association is against the idea as well, saying in part “Instead of arming educators with guns, lawmakers should start by arming our schools with more psychologists and counselors so kids dealing with trauma get care before they become broken,” according to ISTA President Teresa Meredith.

Firearms instructor and attorney Guy Relford said if teachers are allowed to carry, it has to be completely voluntary with lots of oversight.

“I think most teachers didn’t become teachers with an eye toward being an armed security guard,” said Relford, “I think we have to have them as absolutely well-trained as we can.”

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