Should teachers carry concealed weapons to school?

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - The Connecticut school shooting has prompted many people to demand that more be done to protect our children in school.

One of the ideas being discussed is allowing teacher to carry concealed weapons.

FOX19 talked to some law enforcement officers about that.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school has left many people wondering how to keep children safe when a gunman ignores gun free zone laws.

Newport, KY Police Corporal Larry Long  says he doesn't have a problem with arming trained teachers.

"If they go through the same training that police officers go through and they feel comfortable with it...I would not see any problems with that," he said.

Long is a resource officer in the Newport school system and he says weapons inside the school should he tightly controlled.

"There's going to have to be very strict standards on how those would be maintained whether they're in locked boxes at certain places or in a desk or something along those lines. I would have to be very secure while they're inside the school," he said.

Newport Police Chief Tom Collins says he'd have no problem with teachers carrying guns in the schools, but he'd also like them to be observant.

"Any time police can have assistance and eyes and ears and help us battle this type of crime. If they see somebody sitting in a parking lot, if they see somebody hanging around a school or if they're buying and practicing with weapons," he said.

Chief Collins says mass shootings are usually committed by people who are mentally ill and he says that's where society should direct its efforts. "Somebody that seems schizophrenic or they're paranoid...we need to stop and look at that person and get them assistance instead of turning a blind eye. When somebody's acting unusual, suspicious, you have a gut feeling about them...that's what we need to learn from this."

Long says he also supports the idea of having an officer in every school.

"I do like the police officers being in the school. I'm very fortunate to be that officer in the school and yes because of budget cuts that job is threatened, you know constantly. I do think that having a police officer in the school is much better alternative than anything I can think of," he said.

In 2008 a small school district in Texas  began allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons to school. The superintendent says having a gun free zone makes the school a bigger target by letting a shooter know there's no one there to fire back.

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