WILKINSBURG, Pa. - A month after the Parkland mass shooting, much debate continues about school safety and protecting students.
One controversial plan includes arming teachers, and Thursday in Harrisburg, lawmakers will discuss a bill to do just that across Pennsylvania.
At a Wednesday town hall to discuss the topic in Wilkinsburg, Joan Howard -- who is for House Bill 383 only if there are revisions made – told Channel 11 she asked her 12-year-old granddaughter if teachers should be armed with guns.
She says her granddaughter told her she wouldn't feel scared to go to school every single day if teachers had guns to protect students.
At the meeting, several parents were outraged, as were some school and government officials.
“What happens when that one little kid comes in and they just really piss their teacher off and the teacher loses it?” said Mayor Marita Garrett.
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CeaseFire PA put on the town hall along with other groups to inform the community about the bill and what it could mean.
“We've actually had a bill focused on putting guns in schools since last year,” said CeaseFire PA representative Shannon Williams. “It passed in the PA Senate, now it's resurfaced because of the Parkland shootings.”
The bill would allow any school employee in the state with a concealed carry permit to carry a gun on school property. They wouldn't be required to have any training in the proper use of the gun.
Garrett is against it.
“What if a teacher has a bad day?” she said. “We all have a bad day, but we all don't have a gun and that's the difference.”
Howard sees the other side.
“I definitely want the bill to pass,” she said. “I'm really afraid and I pray and I'm so afraid.”
School safety hits home for Howard, who has three grandchildren. She says they are all scared to go to school because of the recent mass shooting.
“As long as they do extreme training, then I'm fine with it,” she said. “But I feel like I would rather them be armed.”
No vote is currently scheduled for the bill.
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