Trump says Arming Teachers in Schools 'Up to States'

From left, President Donald Trump, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student students Carson Abt, and Ariana Klein, listen as Carson's father Frederick Abt, speaks during a listening session with high school students, teachers, and others Photo: AP/ Carolyn Kaster
From left, President Donald Trump, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student students Carson Abt, and Ariana Klein, listen as Carson's father Frederick Abt, speaks during a listening session with high school students, teachers, and others

February 24, 2018 04:10 PM

President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to States."

Trump heavily promoted the idea of putting "gun-adept" teachers and staff carrying concealed firearms in classrooms and schools to protect students following this month's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people, most of them students.

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RELATED: Again the Question: Could Armed Teachers Stop Shootings

He called for bonuses for educators who volunteer to carry a firearm, and said he also wanted action to strengthen background checks and boost the minimum age for the purchase of assault-style weapons.

Expectations were raised that Trump would propose federal legislation on arming teachers, but that no longer appeared to be the case Saturday.

"Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States," Trump tweeted.

RELATED: Wisconsin Lawmaker Proposes Arming Teachers at Private Schools

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the president's tweet.

The White House has yet to offer a complete plan to address school violence amid the public outcry sparked by the Florida shooting, including addressing who would bear the financial cost. Trump said in the tweet that arming educators and paying their bonuses would be "very inexpensive."

Teachers and law enforcement organizations oppose the idea, but several states are considering arming teachers.

RELATED: Osseo School Board Chair Calls for Armed Volunteers

Trump spent several days earlier this week hearing emotional pleas from parents and students, including some who survived the Parkland shooting, and others who had lost children in school shootings in Connecticut and Colorado. He also solicited input from state and local officials.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have said school safety will be a top agenda item when they meet with the nation's governors next week.
 

 

Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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