AUSTIN (January 11, 2013)--Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called Friday for state-funded specialized firearms training for teachers and administrators to guard against school shootings.
Dewhurst said school districts would nominate whom they wanted to carry weapons on campus.
The training would be more extensive than what is required for Texas concealed handgun licenses and would include how to react technically and emotionally in an active shooter situation on a school campus.
Dewhurst offered no other details of his plan, and said the amount of funding needed would depend on the number of school districts that participate and how many people want the training.
School districts would not be required to participate.
Dewhurst, who has a concealed handgun license, made the comments in a speech to the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“With the increased violence we've seen in public schools in recent years, we must do everything we can to protect the safety and well-being of our most precious possession – our children,” Dewhurst said later in a statement released Friday afternoon.
“I'm asking the Texas Senate to consider various school safety proposals, including providing state funds to make sure that school personnel approved by local school districts to carry concealed firearms have adequate training to protect our children and themselves. I have asked Senator Patrick, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, to hold a hearing on school safety, and I have asked Senator Estes, Chairman of the Committee that oversees Homeland Security, to recommend additional ways to prevent heinous acts of violence against our children."
Deann Lee, the state president of the 110,000-member Association of Texas Professional Educators, said Friday she wouldn’t want to be the educator nominated to carry a weapon.
“As an educator with a handgun license, I would not want to be one of the designees,” Lee said.
“I feel the margin of error and the incredible liability these ideas would place on a school district could be devastating. A tremendous amount of training would be needed before someone other than a law enforcement or military officer could make the decisions necessary in such a position of responsibility.”
The organization doesn’t have an official position on allowing teachers to carry concealed handguns, but says it will hold discussions about the issue with leaders and members in February and during its annual conference this summer.