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Teachers With Guns Too Risky, Say Insurance Companies

Teachers With Guns Too Risky, Say Insurance Companies

In the weeks and months after the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut last year, communities across the nation were once again faced with questions of how to ensure their children’s safety in the wake of such horrific violence.

Outrage inevitably focused on gun control. A few states discussed new measures, and fewer moved forward. Congress even got around to discussing it…but not passing any legislation.

Of course, the NRA knew the solution to the problem of school shootings: more guns.

They came up with a proposal that included arming school personnel – including teachers – in order to stop raving lunatics with automatic weapons. In their mind, gun free school zones were the problem that needed to be solved.

Unlike gun control measures, several states were more than happy to explore the NRA’s suggestion, even working with the organization to create legislation. In all, more than thirty states enacted legislation which allowed school personnel to carry guns.

School districts are given the option to do so or not. Many that are considering adopting the laws are running into roadblocks, though – from insurance companies.

Kansas was one of the states that felt it was a good idea to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons into classrooms.  However, the largest insurer of school districts in the state, EMC Insurance Company – which covers 85-90 percent of the districts – refuses to renew coverage for any district that adopts the policy. Two other insurers have also refused coverage.

The insurers note that it’s not a political move.  They believe there’s an inherent risk when non-security personnel carry firearms around children.

Because what could go wrong?

Tennessee is also a state that is weighing costs associated with having school personnel packing heat. Thus far only one district is even considering it, but the state’s main insurer still hasn’t made a decision on whether to insure.

An insurer’s job is to measure risk and put a monetary value on that risk. In some cases, they feel the risk is worth it, if a district is willing to pay.

Texas has had laws that allow personnel to carry firearms in schools since 2007 and have been able to keep their districts insured. Of course, Texas also limits the amount insurers have to pay out in claims, the result of often touted (and misrepresented) tort reform. There’s nothing like taking a risk when there is none.

Indiana also had a law on the books that allowed staff to have firearms. A new law that went into affect this month designates Indiana schools gun free zones, making it a felony for anyone to carry a firearm on school grounds. The law exempts authorized people designated as security personnel.

This means that if a school designates the seventh grade history teacher as authorized security personnel, he can be armed.

As Bloomfield’s school superintendent Dan Sichting said in a recent school board meeting, “I’m not sure it’s a good idea for this board to appoint a staff member to carry weapons.”

Fellow school board member, and local insurance agency owner John Mensch also pointed out the risks – including higher insurance premiums. In addition, there are costs associated with training staff for the gun permits, not to mention how to respond in situations in which they would need to use their guns.

Like the training actual security personnel undertake.

In the end, few districts are adopting the policy. Those that have are largely located in rural areas where response time could be lengthy. Still, even if the districts want to arm their teachers, most of them don’t want to bring a gun to school if permitted.

Could it be they have enough on their plate with things like actual teaching?

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148 comments

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11:11PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

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2:47AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

Why do we allow insurance companies to dictate to us what we can and can't do?

3:04PM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Oh, and by the way, I have very little problem with "anyone not 100% like" me. If they have a differing opinion, I enjoy hearing their cogent arguments for it based on facts. I have plenty of freinds up and down the political spectrum.

However, I do NOT appreciate hearing a verbatim recital of the mindless talking points someone was given by their hate-radio media lords who do their thinking for them. I do not appreciate hearing sophomoric HYPOCRISY substituted for independent thought. I do not suffer mindless rightwing drama queens posing as "conservatives".

It is intellectually lazy to say that all you saw were "cheap shots" in my posts; so you might want to read my comments over again. Your reading comprehension fell short of the substance that confronted it.

2:45PM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Oh, so now the Teatard claims he wants to "compromise". Anybody is free to go read the previous posts of this person, and see if it something that you'd like to "compromise" with. As long as you agree to live in a rightwing fairytale, he will be happy to "compromise" with you.

Son, again, you wouldn't know a true conservative if one shat on your empty head.

I have never IDed myself as superliberal. In fact I have more conservatism in my pinkie than you have in your entire body. True conservatives aren't deluded drama queens who run from cogency like the plague. You'd best keep your head away from me.

9:02AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Yes,so true!

2:25AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

And its NO surprise the conservatives do nothing but denegrate intellectuals and edcated people. Now isnt that a stupid statement?? Almost as stupid as saying teachers and professors are stupid and irresponsible. Almost as stupid as saying liberals follow and dote on every word of a teacher. Get a grip people.
Whats funny is almsot all your heroes are clasically educated and all the while they talk bad about the very system that made them possible.

Teachers take care of your kids 8 hours every day. Calling them irresponsble as ludicrous. Just becausde they dodnt wish to carry guns doesnt make them stupid anymore than Gun toters are expecially bright. This article however isnt about teachers…..its about the gamble that insurnace companies wont cover becasue they dont like the odds.

1:23AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Might be a shock to some liberals, but teachers are not that smart and not that responsible.

4:16PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Insurance companies have more power now than ever before. Rates here went up some 70% w/in a WEEK of bocareless & since then, have continued to rise. But that's another tangent. And I don't see what the NRA has to do w/this either, but since the word "gun" appears, I know you'll find some way to blame them.

This article IS biased, as are many other articles RE these subjects. I've seen where some teachers do NOT want access to a firearm. I haven't seen anything saying they'd be forced to.

I do not identify with EITHER party, so calling me a tea-tard or whatever 'clever' little names some pathetic minds can come up with, simply roll off my back.

Cletus The Slack Jawed Yokel can think he gives out "intellectual beatings" all he wants but the only thing he beats is...well...! And I couldn't care less what you think. It'll take a whole lot more than some 4-letter words & sub-mediocre insults to upset me. And, I am right- if Care 2 (& other extreme sites, right & left) would stop posting BS to sway opinions w/exaggerations, we could come together to try & compromise. It's probably been awhile since you've heard that term b/c of silly party lines, but it IS a good thing & is also possible. We COULD go far. Instead, people like you want to ID yourself as SUPER-Liberal & come up w/silly little cheap shots for anyone not 100% like you.

3:42PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Teachers shouldn't be armed security guards! If armed security guards is what the people (or in this case, the public school system) wants, then get actual armed security guards. Weapons have no place in a classroom, isn't that why most public schools are equipped with metal detectors and some even have x-ray machines to scan student's bags? Enough is enough.

2:01PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Leave it to a wanna-be rightwing trogledyte to focus on his hurt feelings over the intellectual beating he has sustained, instead of focusing on the well-stated reasons for the beating.

Clearly the Teatard is not used to having his delerium questioned. How dare we!!

As Robert H. said, take your biased hypocrisy and shove it.

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