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Bill allows teachers to carry weapons at school

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A new bill in Utah proposes the “Educator-Protector Program” to train teachers in carrying guns on campus for defense against active threats.

The training would be provided annually for free to teachers with concealed carry permits.

The bill has divided opinions among Utah residents, with supporters emphasizing the need for classroom defense training and opponents expressing concerns about the increased presence of guns on school campuses.

“But what this does is incentivizes additional very specific classroom type training for defense of a classroom,” Utah Shooting Sports Council member Clark Aposhian said, noting that teachers are the “first engagers” in a shooting.

“Knowing how to defend your classroom, whether it’s with a weapon or improvised weapon, is what teachers need,” sixth-grade teacher Brian Peterson said.

“Expecting teachers to make split-second decisions in high-stress situations may inadvertently blur the lines between core responsibilities and the burden of safeguarding students,” emergency nurse Jade Christensen said.

Participating teachers not carrying guns would need to pay for a biometric gun safe, and the bill includes provisions for protecting teachers and school districts from liability in case of firearm use on school grounds.

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