Kay Ivey discusses school safety after Huntsville gubernatorial campaign stop

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Kay Ivey made a campaign stop in Huntsville on Friday to announce her run for Governor.

After a horrific school shooting in Florida this week, school safety is on just about everyone's mind. We asked her about how she's feeling as a former teacher and proponent of improving state education.

"Before I ever stood before the Legislature, I stood before a class of 12th grade students and taught social studies," Ivey told the crowd during her campaign speech. Later, she told WHNT News 19 in an interview, "The tragedy in Florida is a tragedy of huge proportions. I feel sorry for the young man who was so disturbed, but nevertheless, what he did was wrong."

She says that finding ways to protect children is an important task.

"Every parent deserves the right to know their child is going to be safe," she stated.

But she believes that amending gun laws to make them more restrictive are not the answer, telling the crowd and later, repeating to reporters, that she feels strongly about the second amendment right to bear arms. "People go crazy and misuse guns, they're going to do that regardless and they have to pay the price. But I will always support the second amendment so people can protect themselves and their families," she explained.

Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-Marshall County) recently announced plans to introduce a bill that would allow teachers to carry guns for defense during the school day. We asked Ivey if she would support that. Ivey replied that she does not speak about hypotheticals, but she started, "He's trying to find ways to, and I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion among legislators about school safety."

We asked what ideas she would bring to the table.

"Well," she replied, "metal detectors, walking through the doors. Like we have to do at the airport." She said that would be a start.

Earlier this week, Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) urged legislators to "get their thinking caps on" and start working on ideas to improve school safety while also moving along both a General Fund budget and an Education Trust Fund budget.