By WVUA 23 Web Coordinator David Williams III Repu

first_imgBy WVUA 23 Web Coordinator David Williams IIIRepublican State Rep. Will Ainsworth of Guntersville proposed a bill allowing teachers who’ve met criteria to be able to carry concealed handguns while working in schools.“We don’t need our teachers fighting people with guns with pencils and desks,” said Ainsworth.In a news conference Tuesday, Ainsworth said that thousands of people in his district reached out to him requesting that something be done to keep their children safe from tragedies like what happened in Parkland, Florida, one week ago.“It allows teachers to go through a post-certified training, 40 hours, if they do that they are going to be able to carry conceal weapons on campus,” said Ainsworth. “They are going to have to pass a mental health background check and they will have to have annual re-certification. That’s what the bill does.”Ainsworth said his constituents expressed concern that there is not always enough time for a school resource officer or security guard to respond to a shooting.“I certainly think that there are people who can go through proper training,” said Ainsworth. “It is voluntary. It is not going to be mandatory and have some people armed in a school to actually make sure if a gunman comes in that he is going to be able to be taken out.”Many local parents said they stand with Ainsworth.“Arming teachers is not a bad idea because who else is going to protect those children,” said Beth Cleere, a concerned guardian. “Let’s look at the last shooting where the coach blocked bullets from hitting the children. Had he been armed, he probably would still be here and alive.”When asked, former school teacher now Gov. Kay Ivey expressed much concern about the bill.“My personal opinion, teachers have got their hands full being teachers and instructors,” said Ivey. “I just thing there is some other way to provide protection.”Some school employees agree with the Ivey, while other support the proposal as a step in a safer direction.“If it was OK with the system, then yeah, if it was OK with the system for me to have one for protection then yeah, I would have it.” said Edward Poe, a custodian at Tuscaloosa Magnet School.“I’m against it,” said Nancy Stuckey, a reading teacher at Tuscaloosa Magnet School. “Teachers are there to teach, we love our children, and we don’t want to be part of the problem, and I feel like I would be a part of the problem if I had to carry a gun around.Ainsworth said under the proposed bill, teachers would not have to carry. It would be voluntary and those who decided to undergo the training would supply their own guns and ammunition, while the state would pay for training costs.last_img read more