Fannin County to allow teachers to carry guns in classrooms

(Source: WGCL)

Another Georgia county will let teachers carry guns in the classroom. School board members in Fannin County made the unanimous decision Thursday night.

The new policy says teachers with a weapons-carry license who volunteer to have a gun on campus can do so at the superintendent’s discretion under the following conditions: They must pass a background check every year. They must take specific training courses. They must have no employment history indicating any type of mental or emotional instability as determined by the school board or superintendent.

Approved teachers will be required to carry their guns in a holster on their bodies or locked in secure places where students can’t get to them.

It’s the “holster” part that most concerns one grandfather who attended the school board meeting.

“Suppose you have a teacher, a woman who’s armed with a gun, and she’s got an unruly 17-year-old student who takes the gun away from her in the classroom.”

Supporters argue the “no weapon” zones our society has created over the years have left our most vulnerable citizens unprotected.

“Every creature tries to protect itself when threatened," said Elliott Southworth, also a grandfather of Fannin County students. "For any organization, even a school, to take that right away has been an erosion of our God-given rights and our Second Amendment rights.”

The Georgia Association of Educators is firmly against arming teachers. A spokesman for the group provided the following statement Friday:

"The Georgia Association of Educators is already on record as being against arming teachers in classrooms and schools. The association strongly feels this is a step in the wrong direction. The bottom line is that the security of school campuses should be the focus of the security professionals and the focus of the teachers and students should be teaching and learning."

However, the head of the Georgia School Superintendents Association, John Zauner, told CBS46 News that local school boards are more open to the concept of arming teachers as they work to find low-cost solutions to the issue of school safety.

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