LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A majority of schools in Calcasieu Parish already have armed Sheriff's deputies on school grounds for added safety, but what about arming qualified teachers and other school employees?
One local firearms training school proposed the idea to the Calcasieu Parish School Board to train qualified teachers and school board employees on how to properly use a handgun in the event an emergency situation should arise.
"I think safety should be on our minds at all times," James Johnson of Louisiana Shooters Unlimited said. He said "qualified" teachers means those persons who have military backgrounds or prove to be responsible to handle a weapon.
Johnson, along with the other trainers at the facility, proposed the idea to CPSB to offer free firearm safety training. That is, of course, if the school board decides to allow it.
"Our children go to these schools and we're community members, we're from here, we went to schools here ourselves and we're invested in our community, and we're looking at an opportunity to offer services to our community at no cost. Of course that would take care of any financial issue that would arise," Johnson said.
And in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Johnson and everyone at Louisiana Shooters Unlimited feels schools should have more security.
"We feel like quality training and an armed society deters violence and that's where we're going when we think about our children, when we think about a situation they may find themselves in and unable to defend themselves," Johnson said.
The CPSB will address safety measures of all kinds early this year. Vice President of the board, Annette Ballard, said the idea of using the free firearm classes for teachers hasn't been discussed yet. Currently, all the schools in Calcasieu Parish are fire-arm free zones.
Ballard said they will ensure that all campuses are as safe as possible.
For more information on the Louisiana Shooters Unlimited click here.