Jill Janes, superintendent of the Hannibal public school district, has voiced her reservations regarding controversial legislation that, if passed, would authorize Missouri teachers and school administrators to carry concealed firearms into classrooms.
“First teachers need to feel secure where they teach and children need to feel secure where they’re learning, but the teacher’s primary job is to teach. I think it might be difficult expecting them to do more than that,” she said Thursday morning.
Earlier this week Gov. Jay Nixon voiced his opposition to the proposal that was made in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Nixon described the proposal of Missouri state Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, as “the wrong approach.”
“More can and should be done to enhance school safety, but this legislation would put our children at risk and limit the ability of local school districts to keep their schools safe,” Nixon said in a publicly released letter to school superintendents. “Putting loaded weapons in classrooms is quite simply the wrong approach to a serious issue that demands careful analysis and thoughtful solutions.”
Missouri law currently allows concealed guns to be carried by people age 21 and older who have no felony convictions, are not mentally incompetent and pass a firearms training course and a background check. But state law prohibits concealed guns from being brought into schools unless approved by the local school board or a school official.
Under Kelley’s legislation that was filed last week, teachers and administrators with concealed gun permits could bring their weapons to school without need of local approval.
Among the co-sponsors of Kelley’s proposal is District 4 Rep. Craig Redmon, a Republican from Canton.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)