A state senator who is advocating for arming teachers in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, accidentally shot a teacher with a rubber bullet during a training course, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
Arkansas Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R) recently participated in “active shooter” training and mistakenly shot a teacher who was confronting a so-called bad guy. The experience gave Hutchinson “some pause” but failed to shake his confidence in the plan.
“The ideal would be to have a trained resource officer in every school,” Hutchinson told the paper. “The state and school districts can’t afford that.”
In July, Arkansas’ Clarksville School District announced that it would “train and arm 20 staff members who would act as security guards to defend against a gunman” and “applied for a license from the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies to act as a private company with authority to hire private security officers.” Following a legal squabble, however, a state board is scheduled to decide next month if staff members can in fact act as security guards.
Since the Newtown shooting, schools around the country have moved toencourage or require teachers (and sometimes students) to carry firearms.
But serious questions persist about the wisdom of arming teachers. Even trained police have a track record of mistakenly firing on civilians in standoff situations and in Kansas, a school that armed its teachers was denied coverage by major insurers, who deemed the armed teachers too great of a risk.