(NewsNation) — School corporations in Indiana are in the process of setting up “armed response teams” that train staff on the use of deadly force and allow teachers to access firearms locked up in biometric safes.
“The ultimate goal would be to have such a deterrent out there that no one ever considers this,” said Indiana Rep. Jim Lucas.
Lawmakers recently allocated more than $100,000 to offer firearm training to teachers who volunteer to join an armed response team for potential active shooter situations.
According to Randolph Central School Corporation’s response team policy, volunteer teachers must fulfill certain prerequisites, including passing a psychological screening and completing a minimum of 40.5 hours of firearms training.
Once trained, the response team of teachers will have access to firearms stored in biometric safes strategically placed throughout the school in case of an emergency.
The names of the faculty who have access to those gun safes will be kept secret so that parents and students won’t know which of their teachers are part of the program.
Many lawmakers are optimistic that the presence of these armed teachers will serve as a deterrent to potential gunmen.
“100% of these instances where there is an active shooter they’ve all ended because of a gun,” said Derrick Turner, the owner of Bare Arm LLC.
Indiana is one of at least 28 states that allow employees to carry firearms in some capacity within K-12 schools.
Ohio has also seen a rise in armed teachers after reducing the state’s required training to only 24 hours.
As more schools adopt the practice of arming educators, many teachers express that they didn’t initially choose their profession with the expectation of carrying a firearm inside their classrooms.
“Asking teachers to perform a dual role in primarily educating children and on top of that serving as armed security guards with little training, just doesn’t seem to be a commonsense solution,” said Scott Dimauro, president of the Ohio Education Association.
Additionally, there’s concern among some teachers that the presence of firearms in school could unintentionally lead to more violence
“Our schools being safer doesn’t mean putting more guns into the schools,” said Paul Farmer, an Indiana science teacher.
According to The Washington Post, there have been 386 school shootings in the U.S. since April 21, 1999.