UPDATE: House resurrects bill to arm school teachers
Sean Murphy Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY —
The Oklahoma House resurrected a proposal Thursday to allow specially trained teachers and other district employees to carry firearms into public schools.
After an earlier House-backed bill was denied a hearing by the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, the measure’s author, Rep. Mark McCullough, attached his proposal to a separate bill, which then passed the House on a 69-25 vote Thursday. It now heads to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain.
“The problem is that our schools are not protected against a violent threat,” said McCullough, R-Sapulpa. “The only way we can do that now is to hire an off-duty police officer to the do the job. This gives (the Senate) a second chance to look at this and perhaps let the body vote on it.”
McCullough’s proposal would let individual districts decide whether to adopt policies that would allow teachers and other school employees to carry weapons on campus if they’ve received at least 120 hours of specialized training through the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.
The bill was previously denied a hearing in the Senate after the chamber’s Education Committee Chairman Sen. John Ford, R-Bartlesville.
McCullough’s language could be stripped out in the Senate, especially since the Senate sponsor of the bill, Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, said she is not a supporter of the concept.