LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Debates continue across the United States on how to keep school children safe in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Florida that killed 17 students and staff in early February.
Florida's governor, Rick Scott, spoke out against a suggestion by president Donald Trump to arm some school teachers, while South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he would sign a bill in the state house that would allow teachers in our state to carry firearms.
According to a study from the FBI, officers who engaged an active shooter were either wounded or killed in nearly 47 percent of incident.
Those are trained officers.
One Midlands teacher gave their thoughts on the bill.
"I would protect my students the best way I could by hiding them, but as far as having a gun myself no I'm not trained," Carla Bedenbaugh, a Lexington County teacher said. "I'm not a fighter, I'm not a skilled martial artsman(sic). If I understand correctly there were school resource officers on the grounds in parkland that were not able to stop this school shooting, why would they think that an English teacher or a math teacher would be able to do that?"
Opposed to the idea of having to wield weapons in classrooms, Bedenbaugh posits that the very thought is the antithesis of the call of the teacher.
"I didn't want to be a police officer, or a solider or a prison guard," Bedenbaugh said. "I really love great literature and I like to write and I wanted to pass my love of literature and my love of words on to the next generation. So I went into teaching for that reason. I wanted to teach children how to love literature and how to write literature and use their words to solve problems. So as far as arming teachers: I'm a writer, not a fighter" says Bedenbaugh.
If McMaster signs the bill, teachers trained by Sled could carry concealed weapons on school grounds to respond to active shooters.
Educators would also provide protection in the absence of law enforcement.