BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Some Maryland teachers who believe the answer to school shootings is to arm themselves, are taking a firearms training course in Ohio.
The Maryland teachers are among 1,000 educators from 12 states in a three-day firearms course in rural Ohio, called “Faster Saves Lives.”
Instructors test participants on taking down a gunman and treating wounds.
Maryland prohibits any person from carrying or possessing a firearm on public school property, but some Maryland teachers took the training anyway.
One elementary school principal says the course is preparation for protecting his students.
“When I walk down the halls I actually think about where I would go, how would I react,” he said.
Most teachers asked not to be identified. One middle school teacher at the course keeps her 9 millimeter handgun on her during class.
[Reporter: Do you have the mindset to actually shoot a shooter and what if it’s one of your students?]
“You have to know the important thing is to eliminate the threat, and to do that at all costs,” the teacher said.
The training is free thanks to funds by a pro-gun group and donations. The training began after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly five years ago.
“Never in a million years would I have guessed that one response to what happened in our town would be to arm teachers,” said former Sandy Hook teacher Abbey Clements. “Can you imagine if children were hurt by you in that situation? How would you live with yourself.”
A bill to allow school employees to carry guns failed in the Maryland General Assembly in 2016 and again in 2017.
A group that keeps track of school shootings, says there have been 240 school shootings in America since 2013.