Georgia school districts still say no to arming teachers

One of the provisions slipped into the sweeping 2014 law that vastly expanded where Georgians can legally carry firearms was a change that was never sought by school districts.

It allowed school boards to authorize some teachers and other staffers to carry firearms anywhere on school grounds as long as they set training standards and complete training.

But most school officials didn't want any part of the latest Second Amendment debate. It has been more than a year since the legislation took effect. And the Georgia School Boards Association said this week that no school district has yet decided to take it on.

"It's a tremendous amount of liability," adds association spokesman Justin Pauly.

It's something to consider as the South Carolina deputy's firing for manhandling a student in a classroom incites a new debate about the role of officers in schools.

The Georgia provision was part of a spate of state legislative proposals introduced across the nation after  20 children and 6 adult staff members died in Newtown, Conn. in a 2012 elementary school shooting.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that lawmakers in 33 states introduced more than 80 bills related to arming K-12 teachers and school staff. At least nine enacted some version of it.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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