Dropping mandate for armed guards in schools was
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:00 AM
An Indiana legislative committee has made the right decision and dropped a proposed requirement that all public and charter schools have a gun-carrying employee on site during school hours.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted 16-7 on Tuesday to advance to the full House the bill that keeps the provisions for armed civilians in the schools, but allows school districts to decide each year whether they want to opt out.
The mandate to have a gun-carrying employee was ill-advised and quickly drew the criticism of Gov. Mike Pence and other Senate and House leaders.
The decision on how to keep students safe best belongs at the local level, but it is difficult to entrust civilians with duties best left to trained police officers.
One area that still needs to be worked out is that the bill would keep those school district decisions confidential.
It wouldn't be prudent to announce that this school has an armed guard while that one does not. But, don't parents have a right to know if there is an armed guard in their child's school? We can't image that kind of information remaining secret for long. And, if a guard is being paid with public dollars, the information should be made public.
Legislators need to proceed swiftly, but carefully.