Starkville Daily News - - AROUND TOWN -

While Mississippi Pro­fes­sional Ed­u­ca­tors Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Kelly Ri­ley said her or­ga­ni­za­tion had not taken a sur­vey or poll of its mem­ber­ship, she said she did not think arm­ing teach­ers was a good idea.

Ri­ley said it would not be a good idea to add de­fense and firearms train­ing to the al­ready large num­ber of train­ings and col­lat­eral du­ties teach­ers are as­signed.

“The gen­eral sen­ti­ment and feed­back

that I have re­ceived is that there is very lit­tle sup­port for that,” Ri­ley said. “Teach­ers are not trained to be law en­force­ment of­fi­cers. We have al­ready heaped ad­di­tional duty af­ter ad­di­tional duty on teach­ers, and all of that min­i­mizes the time that they have for in­struc­tion. The last thing we need is to make them are wild west cow­boys to en­gage in a shootout.”

Ri­ley said if pol­i­cy­mak­ers ac­tu­ally wanted to fol­low through with arm­ing teach­ers, they would need to also pro­vide suf­fi­cient funds and trained se­cu­rity guards.

She also spoke to the in­her­ent dan­gers hav­ing sev­eral firearms at the school.

“What if a stu­dent got ahold of that?,” Ri­ley said. “What if you have a dis­grun­tled stu­dent who knows that there is a gun in the class­room? I mean, it's just not a wise de­ci­sion.”

Shu­maker said he thought build­ing pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships would be a bet­ter means of pre­vent­ing school shoot­ings than arm­ing teach­ers.

“We have to be con­scious to form as many pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships as we pos­si­bly can,” Shu­maker said.

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