Educators, leaders in CT slam suggestion to arm teachers

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President Donald Trump's proposal to arm teachers and other school workers with guns has prompted public condemnation from many Connecticut educators and lawmakers.

President Trump proposed the idea this week following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

"It would be a small percentage, but it would be a lot of people," Trump said. "And once you do this, you will have a situation where all of a sudden this horrible plague will stop."

The Connecticut Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, blasted the idea.

"Teachers must focus on educating students," the group said. "Asking teachers to be armed, paramilitary operatives as a result of the inability of Congress to pass gun violence prevention legislation is madness."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the president's proposal "toxic lunacy."

Eric Torres, a third-grade teacher at Jettie S. Tisdale School in Bridgeport said the proposal has generally shocked and disgusted educators there.

"I did not become a teacher to disarm criminals," he said. "If anything, I would rather be armed with critical resources that are necessary to help my students succeed, not to have to militarize our schools."

Teachers from around the country are using the hashtag #ArmMeWith to propose resources they would prefer over guns, like funding, additional school counselors and smaller class sizes.

Stratford Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson was the head of Newtown Schools at the time of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Afterward, she testified against giving teachers guns before Congress.

"I think it's a terrible idea," she said. "Guns and children don't mix well...Where do you store a weapon when you've got 20 plus kids in a room? And you want to keep it away from kids, yet you want it to be accessible. It's not safe."

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