89th General Assembly (Arkansas State Legislature)
United States of America

To understand the gravity of the situation, you must simply examine the facts; no less than 259 school shooting related deaths have occurred since 1970.

Many Arkansans remember the incident at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, AR, where four students and one teacher were killed. The recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has once again showed us the vulnerabilities of our public schools. The deaths of children in public schools can and will be prevented with proper training and security. The added security this petition calls for would be provided by the people directly involved, the teachers.

Local law enforcement and skilled security professionals (most of which would more than happily volunteer their time) would provide the training needed and if there was a cost incurred the school districts would cover any and all expenses. I believe, teachers need to feel empowered and secure. This reassurance can come through proper training. It is important that all teachers working in the state of Arkansas receive a basic defensive course and hostage training focused directly on altercations involving firearms, knives and other dangers involved in school invasion scenarios.

The training would be designed especially for teachers and school administrators to further mitigate the risks posed to students and staff. I believe in conjunction with the training, personnel that excelled in these operations (as well as agreed) would also receive basic marksmanship training in small arms and be issued a handgun (provided by the state) and kept stowed away, only allowing the teacher issued access to the weapon. Individuals selected by the schools concealed carry program would be selected by the school administrators and the training personnel. In school districts that wished to do so the teachers with a concealed carry license could "carry" These individuals would remain nameless to students and other personnel. The classes would be made available to these individuals as well.

The local law enforcement departments and key administrators would maintain a registry of all teachers involved in the program and be required to provide continued training (annually). Response times for local law enforcement departments vary and the possible delays for their officers are endless; therefore, it is up to us, the competent and common sense Americans to empower our schools and help to provide an environment that reduces the danger to our children.

We, the undersigned, call on the State of Arkansas and its 89th General Assembly, to demand that a law is signed, effective immediately, that teachers are provided the ability to complete a basic Self-Defense course and hostage training program and teachers holding a concealed carry certificate can immediately carry concealed firearms in the gun free zones in Arkansas school districts.

Upon positioning a teacher in Arkansas, the teacher will be allowed the oppurtunity to complete a basic self-defense course and a specifically designed hostage training program. Also, it would be advised by the state that no less than twenty-five percent and a maximum of one hundred percent of teachers will be given the ability to be trained in close quarters, small arms tactics and techniques.

Only those found to be competent and proficient enough to maintain a concealed carry license will be allowed to carry concealed or keep a firearm stowed in their classroom. Upon completion of all required training the State Police will certify and issue the individuals firearms, if budgets allow. In school districts that lacked the budget to do so the personnel will be given the opportunity to purchase their own firearm. All firearms will be protected while housed on school premises, only allowing the issued individual access.

Schools need to be known as a “safe environment”, our children deserve nothing less. It is up to us to empower our teachers today and save our children tomorrow.

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The Empower Our Teachers, Protect Our Children petition to 89th General Assembly (Arkansas State Legislature) was written by Brian Murphree and is in the category Education at GoPetition.