TAMAQUA, Pa. — Arming teachers and staff has been in the works for years in the Tamaqua School District, but after Tuesday’s board meeting, school administrators are another step closer to keeping students safe.
Parents Newswatch 16 spoke with are mostly on board with this policy of giving teachers guns. They believe this is the best way to avoid school shootings in that part of Schuylkill County.
For kids boarding the school bus, it was time for an afternoon of learning in the Tamaqua Area School District.
For parents, the discussion of giving some teachers and other staff members guns was at the forefront in this part of Schuylkill County.
As a parent, Gabrielle Dannenfelser tells Newswatch 16 she is on board with the new measure of school safety.
“I was in school since Columbine happened. It has been a very big concern. The clear backpacks were a good step and I feel like anything else that will keep my kid stay safe I am OK with,” Dannenfelser said.
“If the teachers are trained, they should be allowed to carry guns. There are too many shootings in schools,” Jil McMahon said.
Tamaqua School Board members gave their first OK to the new policy back in September and renewed their support Tuesday night.
Trained teachers, custodians, and other staff would be allowed to carry guns on school property.
School officials say three to four members in every building would be anonymously armed.
“I believe the teachers should be able to carry as long as they are qualified and don’t let some nut take their guns from them,” Mike Whah said.
Those we spoke with do agree with arming faculty and staff to protect their children, but they do hope that school officials put a focus into counseling.
“If there is money that would not take away from their music program or things like that then I would agree with it,” Dannenfelser said.
School officials tell Newswatch 16 that teachers and other staff members are not carrying guns on the property.
The district is working on finding staff members who are interested and implementing a training program.