VANCOUVER, Wash. - Training teachers how to use a gun and then allowing them to carry one in the classroom is an idea that a representative-elect from Camas is proposing as a way to prevent future school shootings.
Liz Pike says no one can escape the tragedy that unfolded in Newtown two weeks ago. Something, she hopes her plan, can prevent from happening again.
”For me it’s about safety in our schools, safety for the teachers and the staff.”
Recently elected to represent Washington’s 18th District, Pike will be sworn in next month.
Pike says it would be similar to the program that allows some airline pilots to carry a gun in the cockpit. It would entail psychological testing and firearm training.
”This is not something that I can just sit by and not do anything about – the safety issues in our public schools and I guess, the biggest, most important issue for me is … this is an issue of safety,” she says.
Pike posted her idea on her Facebook page and says about 70-percent of the respondents approved of her plan.
Ellen Joslin, president of the Battle Ground Education Association says among her concerns are that a student could get a hold of a teacher’s gun.
"How could it not get in the hands of a student? If its locked away, it's not going to help in an emergency,” Joslin said.
Teachers who want to carry a gun would pay for their own training as well as their firearm.
Pike says about five other state lawmaker are working on similar legislation. She hopes they’ll draft a bill in the upcoming session
KGW Reporter Mark Hanrahan contributed to this report