Indiana has taken an important first step toward arming school employees to protect students against possible violent acts.
A state House committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would require public schools to have an armed employee on duty whenever school is in session.
Every public school in the state would employ a “school protection officer,” who would have to meet training standards set by a state board and would be required to carry a loaded gun during school hours, WSBT-TV reported
. The measure also applies to the state charter schools.
The armed employee could be a trained teacher or administrator, or someone hired specifically as a security official.
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The move comes as the issue of armed school guards has become part of the national debate about gun violence following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut in December.
Earlier this week, a group backed by the National Rifle Association presented recommendations that included placing an armed guard in every school in America.
The Indiana House committee’s action is the first step in what could be a lengthy process. The measure still needs to be approved by the full House and move to the state Senate.
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