Following the deadly school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday, State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R – Guntersville) called on Gov. Kay Ivey to convene a special session on school safety and consider legislation providing Alabama school systems with the option of allowing teachers and administrators to undergo school marshal and resource officer training.
“Every school shooting that takes place in another state around the country brings us one step closer to an active shooter attacking classrooms here, in Alabama, so the governor would be wise to call a special session this summer” Ainsworth said. “Signs reading ‘Gun Free Zone’ are a magnet for those who wish to do harm, so we must provide teachers with the training, knowledge, and ability to defend their students with something more lethal than a ruler and a No. 2 pencil.”
Under the provisions of legislation Ainsworth introduced during the regular session, teachers and administrators who are approved by a local school board, local superintendent, and local law enforcement director may volunteer to undergo mental health evaluation and complete thorough law enforcement training in areas like firearms safety, crisis management, active shooter engagements, and hostile situations.
Following certification, the teachers would be authorized to “carry, possess, store, or otherwise control an authorized weapon while on the premises of a public school.” Much like undercover air marshals who are allowed to be armed on planes, the identities of armed educators will be provided to law enforcement agencies but otherwise kept confidential.
“The summer break provides us with roughly two months to pass the necessary laws and provided the resources needed to ensure that our children’s schools will be safe, secure, and protected when they return for the new school year,” Ainsworth said. “We must not let politics, campaigns, or elections interfere in securing the safety of our children, so I encourage the governor to announce her intention to convene a special session this summer.”
The office of Rep. Will Ainsworth provided the above release to WHNT News 19.