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DENVER — A national discussion is advancing on the issue of whether or not teachers should be armed in the wake of the Florida school shooting.
President Trump, Thursday morning at the White House, lent his support to arm teachers, supporting what he called a “hardened school,” where teachers in some circumstances could carry weapons.
Among those meeting with the president, the Colorado state representative whose bill that would have allowed concealed carry permit holders on to school grounds failed in a House committee.
Representative Patrick Neville, a Castle Rock Republican, was motivated to introduce the measure after his experience as a Columbine survivor.
The notion of arming teachers comes with criticism.
The Colorado Education Association opposes the idea of arming teachers. The organization said, in a statement released Thursday, that the notion “promotes weapons of violence in our schools in the hope of keeping students safe.”
Other organizations, notably the National Rifle Association, have weighed in on the debate. The gun advocate group supports the idea, with its CEO, Wayne LaPierre, saying, “The whole idea from some of our opponents that armed security makes us less safe is completely ridiculous.”
In rural Fleming, Colorado, some teachers are already armed — a necessity because of its remote location, according to the local superintendent.
A poll released this week by ABC News/Washington post says 42 percent of Americans believe teachers with guns could have prevented the Florida shooting.
During a discussion at the White House, the president called for regular training for armed teachers. Their presence wouldn't be kept a secret. In addition, the president said teachers should be given a bonus.
Some parents are undecided, realizing all sides bring up some valid points.
"I don't have an opinion either way because I can see both sides of it. I wouldn't want to be forced to be armed as a teacher, but then you have your kids there," said one parent to Denver7.