Arming teachers in Georgia

It’s a tough call. But it’s cheaper than putting armed security at each school, and the simple fact that some staff on campus are armed, may be enough to deter an attack. The vast majority of mass shootings take place at publicly declared gun-free zones.


Laurens County’s school board approved arming teachers last month. The Florida shooting seemed to set the dominoes falling. Georgia made it legal for school systems to arm teachers in 2012, but this month the Fannin County Board of Education will consider a similar decision, and there are discussions in others, such as Floyd and Bleckley counties. Most metro Atlanta school system leaders have so far declined to consider it, though Clayton County Superintendent Morcease Beasley said after Florida that the issue was “more complicated than a simple yes or no (for or against); it will require a multifaceted response from more than a single entity making a decision.”

As for arming classroom instructors, teachers, parents and law enforcement are on both sides of the issue. And the conversation has gained volume with recent events, from school shootings to school walkouts and a school-violence and gun protest march in Atlanta that drew an estimated 30,000 people.

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