HELENA, Mont. – The Montana chapters of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, both parts of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Montana House voted to pass HB 567, legislation that would pave the way to arm teachers in Montana.
“We all want our kids to be safe when we send them off to school every day, but this isn’t the way to do that,” said Kiely Lammers, volunteer leader with the Montana chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Simply put, arming school employees, including teachers is risky. It’s long past time for our lawmakers to stop pushing unsafe policies and focus on real, evidence-based solutions to gun violence.”
“We want our teachers to be able to focus on teaching us,” said Nina Coppolillo, a volunteer with the Bozeman chapter of Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The last thing we want is more guns in our schools. What we want is common-sense laws that actually keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
The legislation would create a program that would allow any employee to become a “school marshal” and carry a firearm on school property, with no real limit on what type of employee would be eligible to carry a gun on school grounds.
Research indicates that arming teachers will make children less safe. For this reason, school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement officials across the country oppose arming teachers. The National Association of School Resource Officers, the largest organization of school-based law enforcement officers, also opposes arming teachers. More information about the risks of arming teachers, as well as proven strategies for improving school safety, are available in a new report from Everytown, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.