Michigan lawmakers consider school safety bill package

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By William Thiede

LANSING – Michigan lawmakers are considering bills that would require the training of faculty and security personnel to help protect schools from guns.

The measures would require all schools to provide active shooter training.

There has been fierce backlash from some lawmakers and protests over these bills

Members of the Michigan Education Association and other protesters took to the streets recently to deliver petitions to the Capitol to prevent guns being allowed in schools.

Susan Reidy, one of the  protesters, said having more guns in a school would not stop school shootings.

“Adding more fuel to the fire isn’t going to help, it’ll only hurt,” said Reidy, a parent of two children at MacDonald Middle School. “Why should regular people like teachers carry weapons. They aren’t trained for that kind of stuff.”

Some Michigan legislators  are pushing to no longer make schools gun-free zones, by either having some kind of security at schools or arming teachers with a gun.

Phyllis Brown, a retired school teacher for Taylor School District, said that allowing police officers to patrol schools would eliminate school shootings all together.

“While I don’t think teachers or faculty should be armed, there should definitely be some sort of a police force associated with our schools,” said Brown, who was at the protest. “Schools are easy targets because the lack of security within them. Something needs to be done because nothing is working right now.”

Michigan isn’t the only state that is pushing these changes. Florida, Maryland and Oklahoma are considering legislation to allow school personnel to carry weapons.

Craig Samuelson, a member of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel, said something needs to be done to prevent school shootings, but arming teachers is not the way.

“Arming teachers is one of the crazier ideas floating around out there,” said Samuelson. “Yes, something does need to happen to help prevent these shootings, but arming teachers or anybody for that matter is not the answer.”