Iowa Republicans unveil latest plan to arm teachers with guns

Shutterstock photo

By Ty Rushing

February 7, 2024

Despite Iowa Republicans calling teachers “sinister,” limiting how they can teach history and social studies, what books they can teach from, and proposing cameras in the classroom to monitor them in real-time, they apparently trust them enough to give them guns.

Introduced on Wednesday, HSB 675 would allow districts, private schools, and colleges to arm staff. Armed saffers would undergo a one-time “in-person legal training, including training on qualified immunity, annual emergency medical training,” and annual communication training, all of which have to be approved by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

The bill does not specify who would supply the firearms to school staff.

School staff issued a permit to carry by the Department of Public Safety and who are up-to-date on their training would also “be entitled to qualified immunity from criminal or civil liability for all damages incurred pursuant to the application of reasonable force at the place of employment.”

This bill would also require the Department of Public Safety to host an annual “live-scenario training” and quarterly live firearm training for school employees of educational institutions that opt-in to the program.

Two Northwest Iowa school districts—Cherokee and Spirit Lake—implemented their own plans to arm teachers, but the measures were dropped after insurance providers declined to continue to insure the districts because of the policy.

HSB 675 also mandates that school districts with a student population of at least 8,000 are required to have at least one private security guard or school resource officer in each district high school. The districts would not receive additional funding to cover the cost of the new staff and necessary training.

However, if districts do want additional assistance to pay for those hirings or the required training, they could apply for a school security personnel grant through a new program that would be established by the Iowa Department of Education. 

This legislation would target Iowa’s largest school districts including Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City to name a few.

For districts with a student population of less than 8,000, it would be optional to require security at high schools.

  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

Politics

Local News

Related Stories
Share This