Dem lawmaker 'sickened' that Pa. school district will let teachers carry guns

Dem lawmaker 'sickened' that Pa. school district will let teachers carry guns
© Greg Nash

A Pennsylvania Democrat said Tuesday he is "sickened" by efforts in a Pennsylvania school district to arm teachers.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) tweeted that teachers carrying firearms in schools is "not the answer" to school shootings and other instances of gun violence.

Boyle's tweet referred to efforts in the Tamaqua Area School District in Schuylkill County, Pa., to allow teachers and other employees to carry guns on school premises, a measure that the school board passed unanimously last month, according to Philly.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

The congressman's office didn't issue any further comment when contacted by The Hill Tuesday afternoon. The Tamaqua Area school district does not fall within Boyle's congressional district.

The plan passed last month allows for teachers to receive training and carry a holstered firearm during school hours, which school officials say they hope will result in about three armed officials per school.

The head of a local teacher's union has criticized the plan, saying teachers should not be expected to have law enforcement-style training.

"We're not trained law enforcement officers," said Frank Wenzel, according to Philly.com. Wenzel added that teachers "might target shoot, but that's not the same as someone who's dealt with situations like a police officer would've."

"We're trained to educate and to teach, not react with a firearm in a dangerous situation," Wenzel added.

Plans to arm teachers are supported by the Trump White House, which announced support for such measures in March following a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.