Oklahoma may soon pass a law that allows all teachers who own firearms to bring them into the school, KTUL-Tulsa reports. The aptly named Teacher Carry Bill would reduce the number of hours of additional training that teachers need to carry a firearm in the classroom from 240 to 0.
Currently, teachers can carry in Oklahoma schools if they are certified as armed security guards or reserve peace officers. Both of those training courses take 240 hours to complete. The new law would make it so that owners of firearms who were licensed to carry needed no additional education to bring them into their schools.
The bill was voted out of committee earlier this week and it is already seeing pushback from educators and senators.
“This issue for me is kind of personal because it would challenge my principles as a classroom teacher, knowing if I draw my weapon, you’re prepared to take the life on the other end of the barrel. If that were my student, I wouldn’t be able to do that,” state senator and former teacher Carrie Hicks said in an interview with KTUL-Tulsa.
Other educators felt that teachers could either be protectors or effective classroom leaders, but not both.
“If you concentrate 99 percent of your time teaching class, you shouldn’t be thinking about that gun, and so if you don’t think about it all the time, you probably aren’t going to be good at it,” Fletcher Public Schools Superintendent Shane Gilbreath told KSWO.
“Your primary thought process better be how can I get Johnny to understand this math problem, and second is, oh I have this gun on my hip. It’s probably never a good idea to have the fact that you have a gun on your hip as a secondary thought process,” Elgin Superintendent Nate Meraz added.