Thursday 21 June 2018

Trump says arming teachers in schools is ‘up to States’

The president suggested ‘armed educators’ would protect students following the Florida school shooting.

Donald Trump has suggested arming teachers in the wake of the Florida school shooting (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Donald Trump has suggested arming teachers in the wake of the Florida school shooting (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By Darlene Superville, Associated Press

President Donald Trump says arming teachers as a deterrent against school shootings is “up to States”.

Mr Trump has promoted the idea of putting “gun-adept” teachers and staff in schools with concealed firearms to protect students after this month’s shooting at a Florida high school killed 17 people.

But neither Mr Trump nor the White House has said who would pay to train them. The president has also called for giving bonuses to educators who volunteer to carry a firearm.

In his latest tweet, he said: “Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”

Mr Trump has aligned himself with the National Rifle Association (NRA), suggesting some teachers could be armed so that they could fire on any attacker. However, he has also called for raising the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles, a move the NRA opposes.

Mr Trump’s tweet came at the end of a week that included meetings with students and teachers and state and local officials on ways to bolster school safety and address gun violence.

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff look at tributes to the 17 students and teachers killed in the Florida shooting (Charles Trainor Jr/The Miami Herald/AP)

He said the “evil massacre” of 17 people at a Florida high school last week had “broken our hearts”.

Teachers and law enforcement organisations oppose the idea of arming teachers, but several states are considering it.

Mr Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have said school safety will be a top agenda item when they meet with the nation’s governors next week.

AP

Press Association

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