WASHINGTON - - The American Federation of Teachers is denouncing a suggestion that schools train selected staff to carry weapons, and that each school should have at least one armed security officer. The head of the teachers' group calls the idea a "cruel hoax" that won't protect children and schools.
The recommendation comes out of a study sponsored by the National Rifle Association. The results were outlined today by former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who led the study.
He says every school would be better off with an armed security officer, but acknowledges that it's a decision that will be made locally. Hutchinson says the security could be provided by trained staff members or by school resource officers -- police officers who are assigned to schools. Some districts already have them.
He says the NRA has dropped an earlier recommendation that retired police officers and other volunteers be armed to provide school safety. The suggestion came just days after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
The head of the AFT, which represents 1.5 million teachers and other workers, says the proposal is simply aimed at helping gun manufacturers.