NewsLocal News


Rep. Bacon meets with school leaders on security

Posted at 9:09 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 23:17:59-05

As school security is at the forefront of many of our minds, Congressman Don Bacon met with several metro superintendents to go over their concerns. 

Bacon said he learned a lot in this candid meeting and admits it changed his mind over one hot-button issue: arming teachers with guns. 

"I went into this thinking we need more ability to fight back if a shooter occurs and I thought of it as an option, that law enforcement officers were good but if the local authorities, the local school board, superintendent supported it, that if teachers had the training and the desire that that would be alright too," said Bacon. 

Every superintendent in attendance gave a thumbs down to the idea, "But what I heard from every single person in here was no.

Bennington Superintendent Dr. Terry Haack said his son is a first-year teacher and he wouldn't want him to carry a gun in school, "I did not train him nor did college train him to be a first responder there are many many more people well trained to be that first responders".

It wasn't the only issue that these superintendents talked about, as the issue of bullying on social media and providing better mental health care for struggling students came up. 

"Today it's 72 hours out, 72 hours out going back to parents who know nothing about the mental health care their child is dealing with, because they haven't been trained," said Gretna Superintendent Dr. Kevin Riley. 

While school security is of top concern for these superintendents, finding ways to pay for it without taking away from education is a tough balance, "Schools are put in a position where we are losing funding at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level and so we're having to make choices of do you provide more security, do you provide more teachers, lower class size," said Bellevue Superintendent Dr. Jeff Rippe. 

Bacon is sponsoring the Securing Our Schools Act and co-sponsors a couple other bills addressing school safety. 

Going forward, Bacon said he wants to continue to have these meetings as legislation progresses through Washington D.C.