Armed teachers bill clears Oklahoma panel

By SEAN MURPHY Published: February 6, 2013
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“I didn't just roll out of bed and file this,” McCullough said. “I've been thinking about school security for a long time, hardening soft targets, the potential for terrorists or madmen to strike soft targets.”

Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin, who offered his support for the measure, said his office has about 140 officers, including several school teachers, on his reserve force.

“We could not operate our agency without our reserves,” Albin said. “They do everything from work the jail, serve court papers, make arrests, transport inmates around the country.”

But several school officials have opposed the measure, including administrators in McCullough's district, arguing that bringing more weapons into schools is a bad idea.

“Bringing guns into our school system, we're going to have more accidental shootings than we have currently with direct shootings,” said Wagoner Public Schools Superintendent Monte Thompson. “I do not think this is the answer.”

All of the lawmakers who opposed the measure voiced concerns over the increased liability concerns that would come with having more guns in a school, and McCullough acknowledged changes needed to be made to the bill.

“Obviously we have to fund it, and there were legitimate issues raised about the liability issue,” McCullough said. “We anticipated some of that in the bill, exempting the employees themselves from any action, but obviously there needs to be a little more robust discussion and a little more detail worked in.”

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Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy