Last week, the Texas House passed legislation that would provide an additional $25,000 to the K-12 teachers who receive training and would carry a weapon during the school day for classroom protection.
House Bill 13, according to K-12 Dive, would equip teachers through the state’s “School Sentinel” program while also forcing instructors to receive training in “mental illness first aid” including trauma-level medical readiness.
HB 13 was approved by a vote of 125-21 in the Texas House last week.
According to the New York Post, Texas has had the “School Sentinel” program for approximately 11 years, and it permits instructors to volunteer to be armed for classroom protection. Those who volunteer to do so are known as “guardians.”
So far, “fewer than 400 teachers have agreed to sign up to be guardians.” HB 13 seeks to compensate teachers who volunteer to be armed for school protection.
HB 13 was condemned by state Representative James Talarico (D), who stated, “Even instructors who are opposed to carrying guns may feel financially compelled to do so just to ensure security for their families.”
Breitbart News reported on December 13, 2018, that the committee investigating Florida’s February 14, 2018, Parkland high school massacre voted 13-1 in support of arming teachers.
The commission’s vote came little under a month after Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the leader of the Parkland investigation committee and a former critic of arming teachers, stated that researching the deadly assault on the school had made him change his mind.
According to a November 21, 2018, Breitbart News article, Gualtieri said, “People must have an open mind to it because the truth is that if somebody else at that school held a gun it would have spared kids’ lives.”