Local educators, security experts react to Trump's idea to arm teachers

(WVUE) - Locals reacted as President Donald Trump doubled down Thursday on his idea of some teachers having guns on school campuses.

"I don't feel that any guns in the school buildings are warranted unless they are by sheriff's deputies like we have in Jefferson Parish," said Cathy Johnson, President of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers.

Trump talked about the idea Wednesday during a White House listening session attended by students from the Florida School that was the site of the recent shooting massacre, parents of students killed and others.

"This would only be obviously for people that are very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it's called concealed-carry where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They'd go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun free zone," Mr. Trump said Wednesday.

Then on Thursday the president repeated the idea.

The Louisiana Department of Education said schools in the state are firearm-free zones and that it would require a change in state law to allow teachers to carry weapons on campus.

'Teachers have enough on their plate, they work as mothers, they work as social worker," said Johnson.

Some schools in Ohio already allow teachers to have guns.

"That's adding a whole new dimension of problems when you talk about arming teachers," said Marlon Defillo, a retired NOPD Asst. Superintendent, who now runs a security consulting firm.  He said law officers are trained to make split-second decisions during chaotic situations.

"That's adding a whole new dimension of problems when you talk about arming teachers. You have law enforcement officers who go through great lengths to become proficient at using weapons, understanding the dynamics of using a firearm and the consequences," Defillo stated.

The New Orleans Police Department said some of its officers work as school resource officers at local schools.

Defillo and Johnson said law enforcement officers are able to develop critical rapport with students.

"Receiving confidential information from students to try to prevent what happened in Florida from occurring," said Defillo.

"It's very different shooting at a target versus shooting at a real human being," said Johnson.

The Orleans Parish School did not address the president's idea specifically, but did issue the following statement to FOX 8 News.

"The school district's number one priority is to keep our students safe. The horrifying events in Parkland, Florida and elsewhere around the country show the need for constant vigilance. To this end, every year the district works closely with our school leaders and NOPD to develop crisis plans for each campus. On an ongoing basis, many schools also conduct active shooter drills, which include lock downs and sheltering in place. Plus, students are informed that if they see something suspicious or concerning to say something to an adult. Moving forward, we are also finalizing a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the police department which will enable additional active shooter training and drills. This is a top priority, we will keep our students, teachers and school staff safe."

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"Starting with cameras, making sure that every school in the districts have cameras, external cameras and monitors to see who is coming toward the building…making sure that there are metal detectors," said Defillo.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.