By ANGELO BAUTISTA
The Indiana State Teachers Association opposes President Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers with guns to fortify schools against mass shootings.
ISTA Vice President and middle school music teacher Keith Gambill says educators need to focus on teaching.
“To expect to add another layer on top of that, to also be law enforcement, is just a step that I personally am not willing to take and I believe that there are better solutions,” Gambill says.
An ISTA statement calls on lawmakers to arm schools with more resources focused on counseling and helping students deal with trauma.
“Arming educators sends a signal that we are giving up and accepting this crisis as the new reality. 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. Educators need to be focused on teaching our students. Together – parents, educators, lawmakers, community leaders – need to come up with real solutions that really will save lives.”
ISTA is Indiana’s largest teachers union, comprised of nearly 40,000 members.
Earlier this week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick sent a letter to state and U.S. lawmakers urging action to address school safety.
And Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill met with President Donald Trump at the White House Thursday to discuss improving school safety. Hill told Trump that more states need red flag laws like Indiana’s, and that some Indiana school safety policies could be implemented nationwide.