Missouri’s state legislative session closed on Friday but not before attending to important gun-related business that will affect students in public schools around the state.
Although lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would override federal gun laws, the Republican-majority Legislature has approved and now forwarded part of that legislation to the governor’s office.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon will now decide whether teachers and other school personnel will be allowed to have carry and conceal firearms while on school grounds, reported the Associated Press.
That aspect of the bill continues to receive criticism and praise from Missouri residents.
Despite the required extensive training for a school official to carry a gun in a public school, St. Louis County Rep. Genise Montecillo does not see it improving the safety of classrooms.
“Children deserve real teachers, and they deserve real police officers. And I think when you try to have a teacher that’s trying to co-mingle those two roles, I think it’s a detriment to the classroom and I personally think it will make our classrooms less safe,” Rep. Montecillo told KSDK.
Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch also spoke with KSDK and said there are no other ideas on the table and this one deserves due diligence.
“One of my fellow police chiefs made a comment one time that more guns isn’t the answer. When I said to him, ‘then what is your answer because we’ve tried everything else…’ there’s generally a blank look on the individual’s face, because they don’t’ have an alternative,” said Fitch.
If the bill is signed by the governor, school districts will have individual parent-attended meetings to vote on whether or not parents want this practice to be permitted in their child’s school.