A proposed law to arm teachers in Oklahoma cleared a legislative committee on Wednesday and already the debate has heated up.
Several superintendents in from rural and metro districts voiced concern over the law on Friday. Classrooms across the state could look a little different if a bill proposing armed teachers passes and becomes law.
House Bill 1062, authored by Rep. Mark McCullough from Sapulpa, would give local school districts the option to allow teachers to be CLEET certified and bring a gun to school. It would not require a teacher to do so, however.
2/6/2013 Related Story: Bill Allowing Armed teachers Clears Oklahoma Panel
Opponents fired back, saying even one armed teacher at a school could change the entire dynamic.
"I think it is ridiculous and I think it is a very, very dangerous path to go down and I think it's frightening for teachers to even hear about it and for students to hear about it," said Dr. Freda Deskin.
With more than four decades in education, Deskin said she was not alone in wondering about the "what-ifs" as the bill moves forward.
"A gun may misfire, shoot through the wall, shoot another student or another teacher. I'm not sure I'd want to be in that classroom with even a teacher next door with a gun that could misfire and harm one of my students or myself," Deskin said.
12/19/2012 Related Story: OK Teachers, Administrators Weigh In On 'Guns In Classrooms' Debate
According to the National School Safety Center, school-aged children are 50 times more likely to be killed outside of school. Deskin agreed with the findings and said violent crime in schools has dropped since she started 42 years ago.
"Being in school is safer than a student being in their yard, being at the bus stop, being on a bus, being in a mall. So I do think we have to take all these things into consideration."
McCullough did not respond to the criticisms to his bill on Friday. The bill would have to pass several other votes before becoming Oklahoma law.
12/17/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Lawmaker To Propose Legislation Allowing Teachers, Principals To Carry Guns At Schools