DENISON, TX-After high profile shootings like that of Tom Clements and Mike McLelland and mass shootings like the Colorado massacre and Sandy Hook, one Texas lawmaker wants to give teachers a way to protect their students and themselves.
Texas Senator, Craig Estes, filed the Texas School Safety Training Act Monday that would give CHL instructors additional certification to train school teachers, who are also CHL holders so they can carry guns in school. But not everyone thinks arming teachers would make schools safer.
Margaret Haskins's son attends Denison High School and said even three months after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, she's still nervous sending him off to school every day. That's why she supports Sen. Estes' Texas School Safety Training Act, which would allow concealed handgun license instructors to give active shooter training to teachers.
"I think it's a good idea to help protect out students and our faculty at schoo'," said Haskins.
"We'd like for these people to be trained and the best way to train them is to have higher training for the CHL instructors," said Estes.
Estes authored the bill and said under the act, only teachers who have a CHL can volunteer to receive the additional 20 hours of training.
"We would suggest would be to cover the best practices for the protection of students. How to interact with first responders on their arrival and different tactics to deny intruder entry," he said.
But Denison ISD Superintendent, Dr. Henry Scott, disagrees. He said 20 hours is not enough to train teachers to face a gunman and students might get their hands on the firearm. That's why the district has two armed officers and security in all their schools.
"It could really create a danger on the campus by having people that are armed that do not have extensive training on how to use the weapon and I would have a concern about that," he said.
"Those same concerns could be projected on the policemen of course. Any person that's armed could be subject to someone taking their arms away from them, that's why we want to make sure that they're trained to a very high level," said Estes.
"You got to make sure that these people have full training, not just two or three week update on procedure and things like police officers receive. It needs to be significant," said Scott.
Estes said the bill will soon go before a house committee for a hearing. He said if it passes, school employees would still be required to get the approval of the school board to carry a concealed handgun on campus.