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Fannin County School Board Will Vote To Let Teachers Carry Guns

Fannin County, in north Georgia, may soon allow its teachers to bring guns to school.
Fannin County, in north Georgia, may soon allow its teachers to bring guns to school.
Credit AL BEHRMAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

Fannin County’s teachers could soon bring guns to school. Georgia state law allows local boards of education to decide to train and arm school workers. Fannin County’s school board will vote on a proposal to do so Thursday night.

Dane Kirby is the north Georgia county’s sheriff. He supports the policy.

“Unfortunately with some of the acts that have been occurring country-wide, sometimes desperate acts require desperate remedies to stop them,” he said. “I think that we would be remiss if we didn’t consider doing something like this.”

Fannin County Schools Superintendent Michael Gwatney wrote a letter to the community about the plan. It calls firearms tools to have on hand in an emergency, like defibrillators or fire extinguishers.

Right now, each Fannin County school has one armed resource officer. Gwatney said that’s not enough to keep students safe.

A recent survey by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators found that of 13 Fannin County respondents, over half of respondents said they would not opt to carry a firearm if allowed by their schools. Nearly 40 percent said they would feel less secure if more people at schools carried weapons, compared with over 20 percent who would feel more secure.

If the school board approves the proposal, it would apply only to teachers and school staff who volunteer, with a training program approved by the superintendent and sheriff. The proposal states weapons may be concealed, as long as they are in a holster on the volunteer’s person.

Gwatney’s office says details about the implementation of the policy would be confidential, citing safety reasons.

Laurens County, in middle Georgia, passed a similar measure last month.