Georgia lawmaker wants to let principals carry guns

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ATLANTA - A Georgia lawmaker thinks a way to make schools safer is to arm the principal.

State Rep. Paul Battles, a Republican from Bartow County, is proposing a bill that would allow local school systems to decide if they want to allow principals to carry a concealed weapon.

The proposal is the latest in a series of new measures that will be contemplated by the General Assembly this year in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Battles told Channel 2’s Lori Geary that not every school district can afford resource officers, so it makes sense to give principals a gun.

"They would have to go through mandate training, the same training that peace officers do," Battles said.

Parent Abdullah Kamal has an 11-year-old child and a wife who works in education but he thinks arming principals is dangerous.

"I think it's ridiculous to think having more guns would prevent a gun problem," Kamal said.

"If you adopt that type of philosophy that we're going to arm everybody and hope we get a solution, I think that's just bad thinking," Kamal added.

The Georgia Association of Educators is vowing to lobby against the bill.

"We don't need administrators carrying weapons in a school environment," GAE president Calvine Rollins said.

Battles told Geary that local school districts would have to pay for the six week training course and yearly refresher courses, so there is a cost involved. 

More than anything, Battles said he wants to send a message.

"If you come in and try to do harm to children and administrators you are going to be met with force," Battles said.


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