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      Mo. teachers trained to pack heat in the classroom

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - In response to the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. some school districts in Missouri have started training teachers to carry concealed weapons in classrooms. Teachers in the 40 hour program are required to spend five hours in the classroom and 35 hours on the range with a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol. 10 districts have undergone the training so far, which costs them around $17,500. Three more districts have signed contracts for the program and even more are in negotiations. Missouri lawmakers approved this school concealed carry legislation back in May. Supporters say the school legislation would protect students from intruders. Republicans began pushing for the legislation after the deadly 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, said arming teachers needs to be considered in light of school shootings. "It is an unfortunate reality, but it is a reality," he said. Opponents said the measure could compromise school safety by having firearms in the classroom with young children. They also criticized the provision of the bill that allows districts to vote on whether to designate a protection officer during a closed meeting. "I would not want my child placed in the classroom with a teacher who is carrying. Her job is to teach my child," said Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis.
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