Public opinion runs against armed guards in schools

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — How to make schools safe.  It's a hot topic all over the country and here in Indianapolis the focus is on a proposal to put an armed guard in every school.

Many schools already have armed guards and schools are currently free to hire them.  The bill under consideration calls for a mandate on every school to have someone carrying a firearm on duty.  "Anyone in a school setting with a firearm is a bad idea," said Dr. Margaret Blythe of the I.U. Medical School at a hearing of the House Ways and Means committee where all of the people who testified were opposed.

One woman said she is horrified by the prospect.  "The fact that you mandate to every school in Indiana to have someone armed," said Peg Paulson of Mothers Demand Action, "is reprehensible."

Governor Mike Pence has already said that armed guards should be an option for local schools and not a mandate.  State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz agrees.  The issue before the committee is how to fund training.  "We know that for most districts with their limited funding," said Elizabeth Gore of Concerned Clergy, "the persons who would be assigned to carry weapons would not be trained officers.  There lies the risk for disaster."

No other state has mandated armed guards in every school.  The committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow.

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