FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama College of Education is a highly regarded program across the state and southeast; they educate - future educators.
Thousands of students traverse the UNA campus daily. It’s an established gun free zone. Inside the classrooms of Stevens Hall, a debate is going on amongst the professors and also future teachers.
Anna Grace Kiddy is a Junior, majoring in secondary education. “I don’t think teachers should have to have the responsibility of having a concealed gun on them. Even if they are trained, a summer session of two months training, it’s not enough.”
Associate Professor Lamont Maddox entered the teaching field after a military career. He knows exactly how much training goes into carrying a weapon.
“It sounds like it is a solution that would work, but the level of training that a teacher would have to have to be effective; I just think it would be unrealistic,” stated Maddox.
So they are against teachers having guns. But what’s interesting, each semester before a student begins their internship at a school they go through additional training; active shooter training on a school campus. Maddox said it’s all too real for some.
“It’s upsetting for many of the students. I think you see that on their faces, but also some people internalize it better than others. But, I think for everybody, when they start to think about that type of a situation it’s upsetting.”
But it’s the reality of the procession these students are going into.
House Bill 449 has been introduced into this legislative session in Montgomery. It would allow certain teachers and administrators to conceal carry on school campuses as part of a response team, modeled after an act already in place in Franklin County school systems.