Co-sponsored by Republican state Senator and Majority Whip Jerry W. Tillman, and fellow GOP state Sens. Ralph Hise and Warren Daniel, North Carolina Senate Bill 192 would give a pay raise to teachers willing to carry firearms on their school campus.
Dubbed "The School Security Act of 2019," the bill would provide extra compensation in the form of a 5 percent pay increase to up to 3,000 North Carolina teachers who undergo special training from the state, as well as granting two extra weeks of leave.
Participating teachers would be designated as "teacher resource officers" and would be authorized to carry weapons on campus as well as to make arrests.
"This is an idea whose time has come," Tillman said. "I believe this bill will see success."
The bill would provide approximately $9.3 million in funds if passed.
"It is the goal of the State to protect students, teachers, and school personnel," the bill reads in part. "To attain that goal, to the extent funds are made available for this purpose, the State shall support the efforts of teachers to protect the school community by paying a significant salary differential to selected teachers who complete Basic Law Enforcement Training and become sworn law enforcement officers certified under Chapter 17C or Chapter 17E of the General Statutes."
According to the bill's sponsors, this would alleviate the cost of hiring new resource officers while providing police-led training for teachers already in the system to act on behalf of students and staff on campus.
"It's extremely costly to put a school resource officer in every school," co-sponsor Sen. Daniel told CNN, "and there's a great shortage of the number of applicants to law enforcement agencies. This bill is an attempt to bridge that gap."
The N.C. Association of Educators opposes the legislation, and the mainstream media cites polling data to say that North Carolina residents mainly oppose "arming teachers," however there has been no polling on the specific bill or its particular parameters.
Senate Bill 192 wouldn't be simply "arming teachers," as in merely allowing any teacher to carry a gun in class. Instead, it is a way to train staff already on campus and familiar with their students and faculty to receive genuine law enforcement certification and act in a dual roles as a resource officer, rather than bringing in an outside contractor or new employee.
Perhaps North Carolina newspapers will examine that particular aspect in the likely event that CNN does not look into it further.