On Thursday night, a school board in one Virginia county announced that it approved a measure that wouldn’t just allow teachers to carry guns in schools, but will also foot the bill for the firearms. The vote was unanimously in support of the measure and enables teachers to be armed in the classroom starting this fall.
“The only way to fight a gun if somebody comes through these doors with a gun to shoot our students, is with another gun,” said Lee County School Board Chairman Michael Kidwell, according to a report by WJHL.
Lee County will be the first in Virginia to allow armed teachers in classrooms, starting as early as this October.
The decision has been a year in the making and was largely supported by parents and teachers who want to do whatever is necessary to be ready in the event of a mass shooting.
Rob Hines, a school board member, stated, “At least it gives us a chance. If we sat there and did nothing, I couldn’t sleep at night. At least we’re trying to do something.”
While some question the decision, the board argued that the approach was more financially viable that securing a School Resource Officer and metal detectors for every county school.
A number of Lee County teachers have already volunteered for consideration to be armed in the classroom. They have also expressed a willingness to confront a gunman if it helps save the lives of their students.
“Sooner or later, it could happen. And like some of the board members said tonight, we need to be prepared if it does,” said former Lee County schools principal and teacher Ronald Earley.
Only a limited number of teachers will be armed across the 11 schools in the county, and the names of those individuals will not be made public.
The school district will pay for the required training as well as the guns teachers will be carrying.