This Illinois Superintendent Became a Police Officer So She Can Carry a Gun In School

Alex Hall | October 1, 2018
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According to The Hill, Julie Kraemer, a superintendent in Illinois, actually went through -- and completed -- police academy training for the sole purpose of protecting her students in the event of a school shooting.

In an interview, Kraemer told Time magazine,“If somebody comes in to try to hurt my kids, we have something other than a stapler to throw at them. We’re no longer a soft target. We have some options."

“I’m just going to be a superintendent that happens to also be a police officer. ... I have to be able to protect my kids,” the 51-year-old educator said.

When it became clear that her district didn't have the funds to hire a resource officer, Kraemer stepped up to help keep the campus safe herself. Now, she says she thinks police training should be "essential" if educators want to carry weapons on a school campus.

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting in February, Trump administration officials have expressed support for arming teachers in case of such emergencies. Interestingly enough, according to a recent poll, most parents of schoolchildren support this idea. 

Though some gun ranges and sheriffs' offices have offered free training for teachers and faculty to learn how to protect their students with firearms, Chuck Doan, the director of the Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training Program, told Time that Kraemer is the first educator he has seen undergo full police training for the specific purpose of keeping her school safe.

“Although I think it’s kind of a sad state of affairs, it’s important that we have people in our schools who can make a police response when necessary, whether that’s in the form of a police officer assigned by the department or someone like Julie,” Doan remarked.