A proposed new law making its way through the General Assembly would give teachers a 5 percent pay raise if they undergo special firearms training and carry a gun while they are on school grounds.
Sen. Jerry Tillman of Randolph County proposed the bill, called the School Security Act of 2019 and we believe it is as bad an idea today as it was last year when he proposed a similar measure that was defeated.
Teachers themselves have overwhelmingly said they don’t want the responsibility of carrying a weapon on school grounds and we worry that those teachers who would be willing to carry a weapon might find themselves in a situation for which they simply are not prepared, regardless of the training they may receive.
School leaders, law enforcement agencies, teachers and parents have been in agreement for years that weapons on campus were a bad idea. It remains a bad idea and inviting some people to carry guns on school campuses just encourages those who would illegally bring guns to campus to consider the idea even more seriously.
The General Assembly could better use that money to provide more school resource officers in the state’s most dangerous schools and pay for more punitive measures for those who would violate the state’s laws against possession of a weapon on school property.
We understand people’s concerns that, one day, a Columbine-type incident could happen on a North Carolina school campus. We certainly encourage the legislature to look for productive ways to eliminate those possibilities. But adding guns to the mix isn’t the right way to do this.