A proposed North Carolina law would give a pay boost to teachers who are packing heat.
The School Security Act of 2019 was submitted to the state legislature this week and would give a 5 percent salary boost to teachers who complete basic police training that allows them to carry a gun either openly or in a concealed manner, CNN reported. The bill would also give teachers the power to arrest students just like any other police officer, the report added.
Republicans who introduced the bill said it’s a way to help schools save on costs of resource officers, who are police officers stationed inside the school.
“It’s extremely costly to put a school resource officer in every school… and there’s a great shortage of the number of applicants to law enforcement agencies,” said Republican State Senator Warren Daniel, a sponsor of the bill. “This bill is an attempt to bridge that gap.”
The idea of arming teachers is one that has arisen in response to a spate of school shootings, with lawmakers in Texas taking special interest in the idea after a shooting at Santa Fe High School left 10 people dead last year. It was an idea also pushed by Donald Trump, but has drawn considerable backlash from teachers and teacher unions.
Last year, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said the idea was sickening and showed Trump wanted “an arms race and to turn schools into militarized fortresses by arming teachers.”
“Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them — or worse, doesn’t care,” Weingarten said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The idea is likely to be unpopular in North Carolina as well, the report noted. A previous poll of North Carolina teachers found that three-quarters were opposed to the idea of having teachers carry guns in schools, while one-quarter said they would consider carrying a gun if it were allowed.
The poll did not take into account the roughly 5 percent salary increase that these teachers would receive by undergoing police training and carrying guns in school. North Carolina ranks 37th in the country in teacher pay, Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts pointed out on Twitter.
It’s not clear if the bill that would give a pay boost to gun-packing North Carolina teachers has a chance of passing. Republicans introduced a similar bill last year, only to have it die in committee, CNN noted.