Last month, the Indiana House of Representatives passed LB 1253, a bill that would draw funds from Indiana’s Safe Schools Fund to provide firearms training to teachers, school staff, and employees in K-12 schools. The bill now heads to the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development for a hearing.
If enacted, LB 1253 would further normalize guns in schools.
Indiana teachers have opposed the idea of carrying guns in schools, and for good reason: there is no evidence that arming teachers will make schools any safer.
To the contrary, research shows arming teachers poses risks for students and teachers alike. Law enforcement has also reported that armed civilians only add more chaos and confusion to active shooting scenes.
To keep Indiana’s schools safe, lawmakers and school districts should consider evidence-based strategies, including those in a new report by Everytown for Gun Safety and the country’s two largest teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. The report backs a number of approaches to protecting school safety, including:
- Policies proven to help keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them in the first place, including requiring background checks on all gun sales.
- Improving the physical security of schools with proven tactics like installing internal locks and limiting the number of entry points and who can enter schools;
- Supporting the health of students by creating safe and equitable schools and by providing more counselors to help increase mental health services and social-emotional support in schools; and
- Intervention strategies that can be implemented by school districts, including threat assessment programs that train educators how to safely and effectively intervene when there are signs that a student is in crisis or poses a risk.
If you have any questions on HB 1253 or arming teachers, or to speak with a volunteer from Indiana Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.