Sixteen North Texas teachers and staff used their day off to attend free firearms training to help ready themselves in case of a school shooting – including one teacher whose niece was a student killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
Former Irving police officer Tim Bulot, who owns Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas, said normally offers his training course only to law enforcement, but that he wanted to make sure teachers who wanted to protect themselves and their students were equipped to do so.
“I wanted to bring teachers and law enforcement together into our world because now we’re not the first ones there on these active shooters. They are,” Bulot told CBS DFW.
Local teacher Kim Raney said she’d be willing to carry a gun, if her school district would allow it.
“If our district ever let the teachers carry, then I’d be prepared to do that,” said Raney.
Jeremie Parker was also at the training to honor his niece who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting.
“Every day we think about her, and every day I think, ‘What if…’ But I try to keep her spirit alive by living how she would want me to be,” said Parker.
Parker is a teacher and coach in Tarrant County who hopes he never has to use his training.
While there’s been plenty of pushback over the idea of teachers and staff carrying weapons in school, many school employees have said they’d like the ability to defend themselves with a gun if needed.
In just two days, more than 300 teachers and faculty signed up for one Ohio Sheriff’s free concealed carry course in the wake of the Parkland shooting last month. In fact, so many people signed up for the class that they had to cap attendance just to accommodate everyone.
And, though public opinion is largely divided on the subject, polls show most parents of school age children support arming teachers in school.