(CBS) – Teachers across the country are training to carry firearms in their schools. It’s a controversial subject in state legislatures and classrooms across the nation.
An elementary school principal fires at a mock gunman during a simulated school shooting. He’s one of more than a thousand educators from 12 states to take a three-day firearms course in rural Ohio.
Hitting the targets, he says, is preparation for protecting his students. “When I walk down the halls I actually think about where I would go, how would I react,” the educator said.
Most involved wanted to protect their identities, including a middle school teacher. She keeps her loaded 9 millimeter handgun holstered during class.
Does she have the mindset to actually target a shooter? And what if it’s one of her students? “Yes, you have to know the important thing is to eliminate the threat, and to do that at all costs,” she responded.
The training is free, funded by a pro-gun group, and donations after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. And all that is not sitting well with some.
“Never in a million years would I have guess that one response to what happened in our town would be to arm teachers. It’s absurd,” said Abbey Elements, a former Sandy Hook teacher, and member of Moms Demand Action.
While laws in most states prohibit arming teachers, many have a loophole that can allow it.
During the training one person was seen shooting what would have been a student in a scenario. Does that make teachers second guess the choice to carry firearms in schools?
“It’s one of those things where it’s an accident, we might take one, but we might have saved 30 to 40 other kids,” a teacher said.
Some participants say they inform parents that they’re armed in the classroom. Some teachers do, but not all.
Several Sandy hook teachers are a part of Moms Demand Action, an organization fighting to keep guns out of schools. Not all teachers and school staff who participate in training carry a firearm in their classrooms.