O school safety bills advances in the legislature, another is shelved

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A bill allowing students to wear bullet-proof back-packs on campus advanced to the full state senate Monday. But another piece of legislation that would let retired teachers and some others enter into agreements with school principals to provide security was shelved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A number of bills dealing with school safety were filed for the regular legislative session.

Some would let teachers bear arms.

House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie was asked about that.

"Luckily in my case we had police officers there to confront the shooter and it saved another tragedy from occurring, it saved all of our lives," Scalise told FOX 8 News.

Scalise survived gunshots that threatened his life following a shooting at a ballpark in the Washington D.C. area.

A bill to let retired teachers and some others carry concealed weapons on campus had a lot of discussion before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"It allows certain teachers and parents who are active duty, or retired police officers, veterans, active duty military personnel, or reservists who are concealed weapons permittees to enter into agreements with their principal to secure the school zone," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia.

A number of people opposed Riser's bill.

One said if there were an active shooter on a campus it could become confusing for responding police if other adults had guns.

"If you have this type of situation you have massive amounts of people running around with guns trying to stop the situation.   You don't know necessarily who is who?" said Caleb Holmes.

The bill was deferred involuntarily after a vote by the senate panel members.

Since the Florida school shooting massacre there has been ongoing national debate over whether it is time to arm gun trained teachers.

Teachers' unions oppose the idea.

"Teachers ought to have the ability, under proper training to have the same ability that pilots were given after September 1," said Scalise.

The same senate panel sent another bill to the full senate that would allow Louisiana students to carry backpacks designed to protect them from bullets.

"A handgun or even a shotgun, a bulletproof backpack stopped the bullet. An AR-15 may make it from a lethal to a non-lethal," said Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe.

"To me this bill does not make common sense and it doesn't make common sense for several reasons. Under this bill, students will be entering schools or facilities as though they are preparing for war," said Dadrius Lanus, a citizen who spoke against the bill.

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