Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Lexington Senator Katrina Shealy believes that teachers are scared and should be able to defend themselves and their students using the same weapon that a criminal has.

"They think what I would do if someone walked in my classroom," said Lexington Senator Katrina Shealy.

It's a question that many teachers have asked themselves since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. That's why Senator Katrina Shealy thinks teachers should be able to pack more than a lunch when they come to work.

"You can't beat them off with a stick, you can't fight a gun with a desk," said Shealy.

In February, Shealy is offering free Concealed Weapons Classes for teachers. For now guns are not allowed on school campuses, but Shealy is proposing legislation to allow teachers with CWP's to bring their weapons to school.

"Look at what happened at Sandy Hook, if that principal had been armed, possibly some of those students would not have died that day."

She says this law would not save every life but believes that it can help prevent future tragedies. SLED Chief Mark Keel thinks a better way to protect students would be to put a resource officer in every school.

"If we want to make our schools safe as they can be, I truly believe that having a school resource officer in all our schools is a must," said Keel.

Shealy says that's not enough.

"You can have an armed guard in every school and that is not going to stop this from happening, because that guard may be in the gym when this guy comes in the back door," said Shealy.

In response to the proposed bill, Education Superintendent Mick Zais says:
"If the General Assembly passes legislation that gives school districts the option to train and arm a few selected school staff as a school safety measure, I would support this flexibility to school districts."

The Bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The first Concealed Weapons Course for teachers will be on February 12th at The Mid Carolina Rifle Club.

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