Nation's School Board Members, Meeting in S.A., Discuss School Safety

In the aftermath of the Florida school shooting, there was a push to arm teachers, but at a giant school board convention in San Antonio this week, the major question has been about the legal ramifications if one of those guns goes off and somebody gets hurt, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"The word is out still on whether insurance carriers are going to be willing to cover school districts for the acts of employees that may not have what insurance carriers consider the right kind of training," Francisco Negron, Chief Legal Officer for the National School Boards Association, tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.

Thousands of school board leaders from across the country are in San Antonio this week, for the Association’s conference. They include districts big and small.  

Andrea Messina, Executive Director of Florida School Boards Association, says there are 67 counties.  Each are now debating if they want to arm teachers.  

Urban districts have all said they don’t want guns.  Rural districts are still figuring out how it would affect things like insurance.

"We did have (School Resource Officers) on campus. We even had SCOs at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but we have never had anybody except for uniformed officers carrying a weapon."

In urban states, like Connecticut, there is a strong distaste for arming teachers.  

Robert Rader, Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education says, even after the Newtown Shooting, teachers did not want to be armed.

"When the police get there, they see people with guns, they may not know why the shooter is," he says.

But in more rural states, like Colorado, there's support for guns in schools in certain circumstances

"One of the districts... the nearest law enforcement is 45 minutes away,” Ken DeLay, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of School Board says. "They feel like they have to do something, and they have gone through intensive training."

But is that training enough to satisfy insurance companies? Negron says it's unclear.

"There might be fertile grounds for litigation against school district, and litigation dollars come right out of the classroom.

Photo; Getty Images

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