The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, sparked a national debate over what can be done to ensure schools are safer.
Addressing the nation about gun safety, President Obama offered 23 executive orders, including tighter background checks for those looking to purchase weapons and better mental healthcare. During his second inaugural address on January 21, Obama suggested there would be further action on gun control. He said, “Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.”
Some politicians have suggested arming teachers and hiring armed personnel to guard schools, while many oppose bringing more guns onto school campuses. Meanwhile, gun sales have gone through the roof this past month.
In the U.S., 18 states allow adults to have a loaded gun at schools. These states include California, New York, Connecticut, Texas and Alabama. In most cases, according to NBC News, “All you need is the equivalent of a note from the principal—you usually don’t even need law enforcement approval.”
Florida is not one of these 18 states, so a group of teachers in Sarasota are taking other steps to protect themselves and their students.
Pictured above, a group of local public school teachers use rubber training guns as they practice drills on disarming an attacker during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota.
Click through to see what steps these teachers, as well as educators in other states, are taking to protect their students from harm.
Photo: Brian Blanco/Reuters