These teachers refuse to be victims, they are getting their concealed carry permits so they can protect their school children.
Special education teacher Kasey Hansen from the Salt Lake City region did not like guns. She grew up in a family that did not hunt or own guns and she certainly didn’t think guns had a place schools.
“I was honestly scared of guns. I thought that they would just randomly go off, and that they were dangerous,” Hansen told Fox News.
The Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre in Connecticut in December 2012, which left 20 students and six staff members dead, changed her mind.
“I did not go into teaching thinking about a shooting in my school,” Hansen said. “But holing up inside a classroom and hoping the shooter doesn’t see you didn’t seem like a good idea. So I decided to take a class to get a concealed carry permit.”
Fox News reports:
Sandy Hook affected other teachers and school officials across the country, and sparked a national debate around the idea of arming educators. That debate has reignited in the weeks since 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people with an AR-15 assault rifle in his former Florida high school.
“When you have these shootings it’s about the high number of casualties, and these shooters think they’re successful when more people die,” said a language arts teacher from rural Ohio, who asked not to be named. “But we can stop them and if I can save the life of just one student than I think it’s worth carrying a gun.”
Gun rights advocates say that since the Sandy Hook massacre, the number of individual teachers and school districts interested in arming themselves on campus has risen exponentially, with some programs having to put interested applicants on a waiting list to meet the demand. But if a teacher who gets a concealed carry permit can actually carry a weapon in school varies widely, depending on the state they work in.
There are about 10 states that allow concealed carry weapons on school campuses. In Utah, for example, state law allows Hansen to possess a concealed firearm, even though her school doesn’t officially condone it.
And while the majority of states have laws prohibiting anyone from carrying a gun on school property, there are a select few, like Ohio and Missouri, where school districts can supersede state law and permit their staff to carry guns.
“We looked at other options such as having a resource officer here full-time but they were all cost prohibitive,” Aaron Sydow, the superintendent at the Fairview R-XI School District in Missouri, told Fox News. “We decided to go ahead with the program and now we love it and stand by it.”
Gun rights advocates argue a teacher with a gun is not only a deterrent to a school shooter, but also the first line of defense in protecting students.
“The general public thinks that we’re just standing outside the doors of schools handing out guns,” Dean Rieck, the executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told Fox News. “But we’re not trying to turn teachers into cops. We’re looking to give them the tools to save lives before the professionals arrive.”
Rieck and other pro-gun advocates noted the training teachers receive goes far beyond that of most local law enforcement agencies. The training includes not just basic gun skills and target practice, but everything from how to make a tourniquet and stanch a bullet wound to unorthodox shooting stances and SWAT team maneuvers.
Depending on the school district, teachers undergo between 40 and 150 hours of training before they can carry a concealed weapon on campus. They must also be able to hit a target with 90 percent accuracy. Most local police forces require only a 70 percent rate.
Read the full story at Fox News.