Missouri Bill would arm teachers with something other than guns

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City lawmaker says Missouri should arm school teachers with pepper spray as an alternative to guns.

State Senator Jason Holsman (D) says his measure is a direct response to Missouri Republican efforts to allow teachers to carry loaded firearms.

"Teachers are human beings, there's a chance that a loaded firearm could end up in the hands of a student and then you have catastrophic consequences," said Senator Holsman.

FOX 4 caught up with the first-term Senator at Red Bridge Elementary on Tuesday.  He was volunteering at the school, where his two kids attend and and his wife teaches.

"I would prefer her to have some defense mechanism if she was defending her students and someone entered the room, at least the defensive spray would be better than nothing," Holsman said.

When asked what good a can of pepper spray would do against a school intruder armed with a gun, Holsman replied, "These six-ounce canisters of bear spray shoot 30-feet in a ten-foot wide radius.  It is conceivable that you could blast the hallway, if it was on lockdown and if the perpetrator was to run into that mist, it would disable him."

Andrea Flinders is President of the Kansas City Federation of Teachers. She says her union isn't taking a stand on the issue yet but she feels pepper spray is preferable to guns.

"It is non-lethal," Flinders said. "If a teacher would accidentally let the pepper spray go at least people don't die."

But Flinders isn't convinced pepper spray is the answer to school security.

"If it comes to the teacher then that intruder is already into the school, which creates a problem," Flinders said.

Flinders says Kansas City school security guards are already armed with pepper spray.  She prefers metal detectors and security guards instead of arming teachers with anything.

But Senator Holsman says arming teachers with guns is the first bill Missouri Republicans plan to introduce in the next senate session and he wants to offer a non-lethal option.

Email: rob.low@wdaftv4.com
Twitter: @roblowtv

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