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House Advances Bill to Arm Teachers

Lucas bill would let teachers apply for grants for firearms training

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The House and Senate could both vote this week on arming teachers.

Three Indiana school districts already pay for gun training for teachers. Seymour Representative Jim Lucas argues schools should be able to defend themselves in case of violence, instead of losing critical minutes waiting for police to arrive.

While Lucas's bill would let teachers apply for training grants from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, a similar bill in the Senate leaves it to school districts to decide. That bill would make teacher gun training one of the ways to spend state school safety grants.

Opponents contend arming teachers will cause more problems than it solves. Dee Dee Bailey with the League of Women Voters says she's a gun owner, but says it takes far more training than the bill envisions. Even then, she says there's a critical difference between shooting at a target and shooting at a live person, and says that difference could backfire in an actual emergency,

IU Maurer School of Law Professor Jody Madeira argues it's dangerous to introduce weapons into schools in a state which already has a high teen suicide rate. And she says seven states which have already adopted teacher gun training laws have had trouble finding insurance companies willing to write policies for their school districts.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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