Teachers in Texas have been learning how to fire a gun in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 including three educators.
Sixteen teachers and school staff from the northern part of the state were given an entire day of training on Saturday.
They were shown by a former Irving police officer how to handle a weapon in the event of an active shooter situation.
SWAT and police officers volunteered their time and expertise, teaching firearms training and active shooter protocol.
‘Its scary sometimes. We do our best to have security at our schools, but you never know what’s going to happen. And it’s better to be prepared than not prepared,’ said Kim Raney to CBS News.
‘If our district ever let the teachers carry, then I’d be prepared to do that,’ she said.
Tim Bulot gave the teachers their training. He now owns Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas.
‘This is the first time I’ve done anything like this… normally it’s police officers, SWAT and overseas contractors who we train here,’ said Bulot.
‘I wanted to bring teachers and law enforcement together into our world because now we’re not the first ones there on these active shooters. They are,’ said Bulot.
He said that there has been overwhelming support for his first-ever class, and e hopes to hold another one for teachers in the future.
Meanwhile, The White House backtracked on president Donald Trump’s previous calls to raise the minimum age to purchase certain firearms to 21 but looks to be pressing ahead with school safety proposals that include arming teachers.
The Trump administration’s proposals vow to provide ‘rigorous firearms training’ to ‘specially qualified’ teachers on a voluntary basis.
This includes assistance from the Department of Justice which will offer firearm training to school staff through their local agencies.
The president is now establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety that will be headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The commission will largely focus on mental health and strengthening school security, but will also explore other solutions such as raising the age requirements for gun purchases, according to the White House.
‘Far too often the focus has been only on the most contentious fights — the things that have divided people and sent them into their entrenched corners,’ Devos said on Sunday, according to CNN.
‘But the plan that we’re going to advance and talk about is a pragmatic plan to dramatically increase school safety and to take steps to do so right away.’
As part of the the proposals, the Department of Homeland Security will work with state and local authorities in a public awareness campaign based on their ‘see something, say something’ anti-terrorism campaign.
The White House plans also mention supporting the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement officials into education-related careers.
These proposals were expected to include raising the minimum age for buying long guns to 21, a measure Trump has said he would support, but the unveiled plans make no mention of this.
Also expected was support for banning bump stocks, a modification to high-capacity rifles that lets them fire like an automatic weapon.
Critics of the president slammed the White House’s announcements, claiming Trump backed down from supporting raising the minimum age for gun purchases because of pressure from the National Riffle Association, the powerful lobbying group.
The news on school safety measures come nearly a month after a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, renewed debate over gun control.
Student survivors of the shooting have mobilized to call for stricter gun control laws after the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the hands of a 19-year-old former student.