Updated 01/11/2013 06:45 PM
Texas Lt. Gov. calls for gun training for teachers
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Texas’ second in command Friday called for state funding for firearms training for teachers in the Lone Star State.
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst made the remarks at a Texas Public Policy Foundation event. He said that eight hours of training for a concealed carry license is not enough, and feels taxpayers should cover the cost of teaching the extra skills.
"If we do this, our first priority is to protect our children and make sure that no one gets hurt," Lt . Gov. Dewhurst said.
Ken Zarafis is president of the teacher's union, Education Austin. He says Texas schools are still reeling from the billions of dollars which were slashed from their budget last session.
"We don't need to start arming our teachers and school employees,” Zarafis said. “We need to train our teachers and teach our kids."
Zarafis says Dewhurst should put more money toward school resource officers if he feels campuses are unsafe.
"Let's not put one more thing on top of a teacher. The teacher is already a counselor. The teacher is already an administrator of assessment. The teacher is already a curriculum expert,” Zarafis said. “The teacher, in many cases, is a second parent."
Dewhurst says his suggestion is one element of a multi-prong approach to protect the state's "most precious possession--children."
In addition, the lieutenant governor plans to hold a hearing on school safety. That team will look at ways to prevent incidents like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary last month and Columbine High School in 1999.
The Texas Classroom Teachers Association is not taking a formal stance on the issue right now. However, a spokeswoman says it will be put before members at a conference later this month.