Lawmakers, educators look for ways to prevent school shootings

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The tragic school shooting in Oxford this week has the state shaken. In the aftermath, lawmakers are sparring over how to best address violence in schools, leaving educators in the middle.

A bill is being drafted in the state legislature that would give schools and teachers the ability to have a weapon in their class under lock and key. But opponents to this type of legislation say that this isn’t what teachers signed up for

Paula Herbart is the president of the Michigan Education Association. She says the answer to gun violence is to keep guns out of schools, saying it would be much better to see more social workers and nurses who are trained to pick up on signs of mental distress brought into schools.

But State Representative Steve Carra wants to take a different approach. He wants to introduce a bill that would give teachers the option to store a gun or other weapon in their classrooms.

Something Representative Matt Koleszar opposes.

“I think it’s important that we have more protection for our kids for when tragedies happen like what we saw in Oxford high school. We need more protection and not less. One school may want a certain level of security, maybe they want one box. Maybe one school will want 15 or 20. Another school may want the depression of their teachers to decide,” said Carra.

“That school resource officer is trained. They have trained to use a firearm, they are police officers. They are the ones that have been prepared for the task. Asking for a teacher to have a gun in a lockbox is not the safe thing,” said Koleszar.

The legislation that Carra is proposing is currently going through drafting. Koleszar says a caucus on gun violence will be looking at other measures as well he is in favor of child liability laws to prevent terrifying events like this from happening again.

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