Titled the School Security Act of 2019, the law, if passed, would encourage teachers to complete basic police training that would authorize them to carry guns either open or concealed at school and even arrest students.
As an incentive, the certified “teacher resource officers” would not only receive a pay raise but also two additional weeks of paid leave.
Individual school systems across the state would be able to implement the new initiative as they see fit, or even opt out altogether. “[Schools] would get to decide whether the teacher actually carries the weapon on their person or if they have it in some kind of a locked vault that would allow them quick access in the event of an emergency,” Warren Daniel, one of the bill’s sponsors, explained to Channel 9.
But despite the promise of a salary boost, many teachers are opposed to the new bill. A 2018 Gallup poll found that 73 percent of teachers in the U.S. were against arming school employees. And the same seems to be true in North Carolina, where a similar bill was proposed in 2018 but died in committee.
“We don’t need firearms in our schools. Guns could endanger both students and other adults in the building,” Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said in an interview with CNN. He added that it’s a “disaster waiting to happen.”
Even North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mark Johnson, has concerns. “I know there are some teachers who would like to arm themselves, but I also know there are so many distractions in the classroom that would make that a challenge,” he told Channel 9.