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Lawmaker plans to block plan to arm Arizona teachers

PHOENIX — When teachers return to classroom after the long holiday break, they won’t be armed but a state lawmaker expects a push in the upcoming legislative session to change that.

House Democratic leader Chad Campbell said arming teachers, principals or volunteer guards is a horrible idea, but he expects attempts from some Republicans. He said the solution is funding the school resource officer program which has been gutted since 2009.

“Basically by Gov. Brewer and the Tea Party for the past few years. We need to fund the school resource officer program,” he said. “It puts trained law enforcement on the ground that knows how to do its job.”

Campbell said funding also needs to be restored to threat assessment and emergency response planning in the schools so they have the tools they need.

“It is time for common sense,” he said. “We don’t need knee-jerk reactions and putting weapons in the hands of teachers is not the right thing to do. I have yet to talk with a teacher who wants that responsibility.”