School officials speak out about teachers and guns on campus
Story by Felicia Martinez, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
YUMA, AZ - With so many people across the country still having a hard time coping with the mass school shooting, some lawmakers already want to change current gun laws to allow some administrators and teachers to carry firearms.
KSWT News 13 wanted to know where Yuma school officials stand on allowing teachers to carry guns in classrooms. Mario Ybarro, the head administrator at Harvest Preparatory Academy says in his 20 years of working in education times have definitely changed. He says we can no longer take for granted that schools, even elementary schools, are not as safe as they used to be. Dr. Ybarra says,"21st century education is now at a different place." He says now-a-days teachers also play the role of security guards, but minus a badge and gun.
He tells KSWT News 13, "The teacher is not only and educator, but also a counselor, and also a security for the student." Which is why Dr. Ybarra says allowing teachers to carry a concealed gun on campus and in classrooms is a proposal lawmakers, republicans and democrats, should at least come together to discuss. He says "In my opinion I think that's left up for the legislators, but certainly there is room to talk about it. I think there should be room to talk about it. I'm not opposed and I'm not condoning it, but I think it should be up for discussion."
Dr. Ybarra says even though the Yuma Police Department is located right around the corner from Harvest Prep he also supports lawmakers discussing the idea of having a full-time police officer on-duty at every school. He says, "I think each individual school should have at least security officer as a must. Each elementary school must have a security officer that is something we lack in some of our schools."
Malia Culkins, whose 4-year old attends kindergarten, agrees. Culkins says she supports at the very least having a trained police officer on every school campus. She says "I think there should be an armed officer at every school, under cover or not. Either that or have the chances of what happened happen again."
The discussion to allow teachers to carry guns on Arizona school campuses is nothing new.
Republican state lawmakers proposed a similar bill earlier this year that would have allowed guns on college and university campuses, but it was dropped due to a lack of support.
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