Md. gov: Don't arm teachers, improve school safety

Md. gov: Don't arm teachers, improve school safety
© Greg Nash

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said at a news conference Friday that he opposes President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE's plan to arm teachers, suggesting a number of other school safety improvements instead.

The Washington Post reports that Hogan told reporters he will use $125 million from the state's share of casino revenue to fund a number of new school safety measures, including metal detectors, panic buttons and security cameras, as well as doors and windows that can be secured in the case of a school shooter.

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“There is no more important job than keeping our citizens safe, especially our children,” Hogan told reporters. “Classrooms should never be a place of fear for our children. No mom or dad should ever have to worry when they send their kids off to school whether their son or daughter is going to come home safely.”

Teachers, Hogan said, should not be given guns to protect students. But the Maryland governor will provide an additional $50 million for school safety grants, which could be used for a number of safety improvements including armed school resource officers.

“I don’t think we should be handing out guns to drama teachers and biology teachers,” he said. “However, I think we ought to let the local school systems make decisions about whether they should have armed, trained resources officers that they believe could protect the schools.”

School security has been the subject of national conversation following a February shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead and 14 others injured.

Politicians and advocates have spoken at length on a number of issues including background checks, revising age-limits for the purchase of some firearms and Trump's proposal to arm teachers.

Hogan also told reporters that he supports a ban on bump stocks, the attachment used by the Las Vegas shooter last year in the deadly shooting that killed dozens at a country music concert.

The blue-state Republican, who is up for reelection this year, added that he believes the movement in response to the Parkland, Fla., shooting signals to him that some progress on reducing gun violence may finally be made.

“I’ve never seen this much focus and attention,” the governor said. “I think maybe we’ve reached a point where people are finally ready to get something done.”