Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

February 13, 2013

New plans for armed school employees in Ga.

ATLANTA — School employees in Georgia could not be required to carry a firearm and would face rules over how that gun is stored under a changed plan debated Tuesday by state lawmakers.

A House committee gave its approval to changed legislation from Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville. It sought to answer questions raised by his initial proposal to arm school administrators that came after a gunman rampaged through a Connecticut school on Dec. 14, killing six adults and 20 first-graders. His bill now heads to the House Rules Committee, which decides whether it gets a floor vote.

“This is another deterrent,” Battles said. “I see this bill as more of way of saying, ‘You’re going to find some resistance from coming into our Georgia schools.”’

A tight budget leaves the state little room to pay for more armed police officers in schools, Battles said. He estimated paying for an officer would cost each school around $80,000 to $85,000 when accounting for salary and benefits. He described his plan to arm school employees as an affordable alternative.

“It’s kind of taking the best choice of all the bad ones,” he said.

Under the revised plan, local school boards would be allowed to designate any employee — not just administrators — to carry guns in school. No employee could be punished if they refused to participate.

The new version would also require that firearms be kept on the authorized school employee or in a secured box so students or other unauthorized people cannot take them, Battles said. No school system could be held legally liable for their decision to either arm or not arm their workers.

But school employees and their districts could still be held legally responsible is a shooting is determined to be unjustified.

Lawmakers would require that anyone with a gun in school first get a license to carry a concealed weapon, get legal training on self-defense laws and prove they can properly identify and shoot a target. The latest version of the legislation allows schools boards to decide what type of weapons their employees carry and even how much ammunition.

Employees who have showed signs of mental or emotional instability could not be armed in school, though the decisions on whether an employee should be disqualified would rest with local school officials. At a minimum, school boards would be responsible for conducting an annual criminal background check on any school employee allowed to carry a gun.

School officials could conduct additional background checks at their discretion. A formal version of the amended bill was still being drafted Tuesday night.

———

Follow Ray Henry on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rhenryAP .

 

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy College Gradu_Stew.jpg Job market for college grads better but still weak

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court TV On t_Stew.jpg Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results