ATLANTA, Ga. -- What do you think about a principal or administrator at your child's public school carrying a weapon? A Georgia lawmaker is sponsoring a bill which would make that possible at K-12 schools.
Republican State Representative Paul Battles from Barlow County has pre-filed House Bill 35. If passed it would be up to school boards in Georgia to decide if they want one or more administrators to be allowed to carry firearms, which they could carry concealed.
The bill would allow designated administrators to carry a firearm within a school safety zone or school building, at a school function, or on school property, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school.
Representative Battles said administrators would be required to go through intensive ongoing training that peace officers go through and undergo background checks. While Rep. Battles said he would like resource officers in all schools, he said there is not enough funding for that. He thinks his proposal would cost districts less and be a big deterrent to any would-be school shooter.
He points out classroom teachers and coaches would not be allowed to be armed if the bill passes, only administrators designated by the school board.
"There is a key word to this legislation: may, not shall. So no school system has to comply with this, not one. If every school system in the state of Georgia said no we're not going to do it, then it's not done," said Rep. Battles.
The bill has lots of hoops and hurdles to go through before it could become law. The process could take several months.
The Georgia Association of Educators has said it will lobby against the proposal. The organization's president, Calvine Rollins, said instead of paying for school resource officers, districts would then have to pay for six-week training courses and yearly refresher sessions.
First Coast News