SHARECOMMENTMORE

By Elizabeth Matthews

ST. LOUIS, Mo.(KSDK) - Teachers are being offered gun courses at a discounted rate by local firearms instructors and they're lining up to take advantage. The president of the St. Louis Teachers Union says not so fast.

It's a $175 discount for any school official wanting to take a class and the chief instructor says his phone has been ringing off the hook.

For most people it's a pretty black and white situation.

"I just want to make people safe," says firearms instructor Michael Meyers.

"We don't want our schools to become prisons," says union president Mary Armstrong.

Guns placed in schools. Good or bad thing?

Armstrong, president of the St. Louis Teachers Union Local 420, says she agrees something needs to be done, but it's not putting guns in the hands of school officials.

At present,her 74 schools have safety officers in every high school, middle school and some elementary schools. Those officers are not armed, but they do have rovers.

"Who are safety officers too, who are armed so if there is an incident that occurs at a school they are dispatched to a school," says Armstrong.

Meyers, chief instructor of St. Louis Association of Firearms Training Instructors (SAFTI), says a few officers is not enough protection.

"Teachers need a way to protect themselves, and the kids that they instruct without any protection of a firearm they are just sitting ducks in a classroom waiting to be massacred," says Meyers.

To combat the gun violence, Meyer and his group are offering any school official a discount to come take a conceal and carry class.

He says his business in the past four weeks has doubled and he has about 200 school officials on a waiting list wanting to take the class.

"Teachers want to be armed. From the calls I've gotten, they are very very scared," he says.

Armstrong says she understands the rights of gun owners, but wants to come up with another way of safety in schools.

"Personally, I have a concealed carry license, but I will never take a gun inside any of the schools," she says.

Armstrong's next idea for more safety in schools is to make sure there are cameras at every door of every school. To get inside you would have to push a button and get permission from the office.

For more information on SAFTI's, courses contact
msafti@att.net.

SHARECOMMENTMORE