GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Legislators voted on a hot topic in Indiana schools Tuesday – a bill that would require an armed employee in schools at all times.
An Indiana legislative committee has dropped the proposed requirement that all public and charter schools have a gun-carrying employee during school hours.
While school safety is at the top of the list at West Lafayette Community School Corporation (WLCSC), Superintendent Dr. Rocky Killion said this was a "simple-minded solution for a complex problem."
Tuesday morning, the House Ways and Means Committee voted 16 to 7 to advance Senate Bill 1 to the full House.
"There were many issues that were brought forth, and this is a good thing, because there was a lot of discussion on this bill," State Rep. Sheila Klinker (D-27) said.
The bill keeps the provisions for armed civilians in the schools. However, it allows school districts to decide each year whether they want to opt out.
Killion said he believes bringing more guns into schools is not the answer to school safety.
"It really is a societal issue, which we need to, as a society, figure out a way to ensure that we keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally disturbed," Killion said. "We need to really be putting some prediction and prevention plans in place, rather than reactions."
State Rep. Tim Brown (R-41) says the bill would keep school district decisions confidential.
In a statement Representative Brown released Tuesday, he said, "It was amended to give a confidential opt out waiver for local school corporations, so local school officials can choose what is best for them in addressing safety concerns."
However, supporters of requiring armed employees said it would lessen the vulnerability of schools to violent attacks such as the December elementary school shooting in Connecticut.
State Rep. Randy Truitt (R-26) said he also agrees that giving school corporations local control on this issue is the best route.
He said he supports the amendment that was reviewed in committee Tuesday and looks forward to seeing it discussed further on the House floor.
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