Proposal to Support Armed Teachers in Illinois Defeated, Again

Proposal to Support Armed Teachers in Illinois Defeated, Again

ILLINOIS (IRN) — Rural Illinois school boards were again rebuffed in a bid to get additional support to push lawmakers to support allowing teachers to carry firearms in school

Like last year, a proposal was considered to allow districts to set training guidelines and allow willing teachers to carry firearms. It was voted down at the Illinois Association of School Boards’ annual meeting on Saturday.

Association Vice President Ben Schwarm said rural school boards want the measure because they’re often farther away from police stations and have longer response times.

“There’s little or no police forces near them that serve them and they’ve got really long response times,” he said. “There was not a lot of awareness in some suburban areas that have professional police departments that are close.”

The main opposition came from Chicago and suburban districts, Schwarm said.

The district representatives did back a measure that would have the state give the option to help pay for school resource officers, often a police officer.

The association will now propose or support legislation that would do that, Schwarm said.

Other measures the organization said it will pursue include:

  • A resolution that would support school districts considering social responsibility goals – such as preferences for businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans – in contracting.
  • A school safety recommendation regarding traffic zones.
  • Support for the centralization, through Regional Offices of Education, of background check processes for substitute teachers.
  • Two resolutions involving terms and seating of school board members.
  • Resolutions concerning the renewal of charter schools and requirements to service at-risk students.
  • Amendments to position statements on topics of the Prevailing Wage Act, educational programs, charter school funding, and special education funding.
  • Reaffirmed existing positions on standardized test procedures and student assessments.

Proposals relating to school board member swearing-in and school board member compensation were not recommended or called for a vote.