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Arming Teachers "Ludicrous," Says Local Education Leader

Should teachers carry weapons onto school grounds?  That’s a question one recent North Carolina poll attempted to answer.  And a bill that would allow teachers to have firearms in the classroom is now in the Rules Committee of the North Carolina General Assembly.   Republican Representative Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County filed the School Self-Defense Act last month. 

The Elon University / Raleigh News & Observer / Charlotte Observer pollshows that more than three-quarters of North Carolina public school teachers think it’s a bad idea.  

The suggestion is ludicrous, says one local education professional, who also happens to have her own guns and her own concealed carry permit. 

Marsha Carr is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Educational Leadership Department in the Watson College of Education at UNCW. 

"First of all, how are you going to insure it’s not somewhere where a student can get hold of it or where somebody else can find it?  I would already have enough pressure on me as a teacher that the last thing I want to worry about is having a gun on me.  My gun – the guns are locked up.  They’re in a place where nobody can get to them.  I even have security areas because I’m not going to take that chance that somebody accidentally gets a hold of it."

The bill to arm teachers has not enjoyed widespread support in Raleigh.  Instead, the Republican majority passed budget adjustments including money for more mental health professionals, school resource officers, safety training and equipment.  Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill Wednesday afternoon – saying it failed public education.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.