Education

Public schools advocates plan ‘Tweet Storm’ to protest bills to arm teachers

Two bills aimed at arming North Carolina’s classroom teachers have garnered a lot of national attention.

But a statewide push back against them will intensify this week with an hour-long  “Tweet Storm” targeting state lawmakers.

Public Schools First NC (PSFNC),  a statewide nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused solely on pre-K – 12 public education issues, is calling on supporters to join the “Tweet Storm” from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Wednesday to let lawmakers know they oppose arming teachers.

“Arming teachers with guns will NOT make our students safer,” the organization posted on its website. “Our teachers need resources, not guns. Our schools need counselors, social workers, school psychologists and nurses, not armed teachers.”

The two bill being considered by lawmakers are:

  • Senate Bill 192, The School Security Act of 2019, which would give teachers a 5 percent raise to become sworn police officers. The teachers could carry concealed weapons in their classrooms and would have arrest powers under the proposal.
  • House Bill 216, The School Self-Defense Act, would make it legal for teachers and staff members to carry concealed handguns on school grounds “to respond to acts of violence or imminent threats of violence.”

The House bill’s primary sponsors are Reps. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) and Michael Speciale (R-Craven). The Senate bill’s primary sponsors are Senators Jerry Tillman (R-Guilford and Randolph), Ralph Hise and Warren Daniel. Hise and Daniel are Republicans from western North Carolina.

PFSNC is urging supporters (the group contends most of the state’s 110,000 educators oppose arming teachers) to use hashtags #SchoolSafety, #BooksNotGuns, #ResourcesNotGuns and #ArmMeWith during the “Tweet Storm.”

The organization is also asking supporters to @ their representatives and legislative leaders.

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This story was updated 5/17/2019 to include comments ...

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