Debate Over Arming Teachers Continues in Oakland

Sergio Quintana, NBC Bay Area   ·   Link to Article

State assemblyman Tony Thurmond organized a Town Hall meeting in Oakland to discuss whether teachers should be armed to help prevent a potential active shooter on a school campus.

"The training that our teachers need is not gun training, it’s training professional development to help us close the achievement gap," Thurmond, who is running for state superintendent of schools, said.

The assemblyman is not a fan of any effort to let teachers carry guns and students, parents and teachers agreed.

"I think it’s the stupidest idea anybody around education has ever had," said Berkeley school counselor Rodina Keren. "There’s no reason for adults in our schools to be carrying guns – we’re supposed to be forming caring positive relationships with our students."

On the day after news that Secretary DeVos was considering allowing federal grant money to buy guns and train teachers how to use them, two students were shot at Armijo High School in Fairfield, one died at the scene.

One of the panelists was Peter Ambler, the head of the gun control group put together by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. He said there are plenty of other options to curtail gun violence.

"When you put into place effective laws that include background checks, restrictions on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, when you tell parents to lock up the guns at home that will bring down rates of gun violence," Gifford said.

There were no advocates who support arming teachers at the meeting.