North Carolina Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson does not support arming teachers as a way to improve school safety, which has been suggested since the school shooting in Florida.
Johnson, a former member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth Count Schools Board of Education, posted the statement on Twitter on Monday. In it, he distanced himself from the idea of arming teachers to make schools safer and emphasized expanding services for School Resource Officers.
“We already ask so much of our educators,” the statement reads. “I do not believe we should ask them to take on another massive responsibility of having firearms in the classroom.”
Johnson, who is a Republican, went on to say firearms on school campuses should be in the hands of “these trained, uniformed law-enforcement professionals who courageously choose a career protecting citizens from violent threats.”
His statement comes less than a week after House Speaker Tim Moore announced the formation of a state legislative committee to study school safety in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 were killed.
Moore said during a press conference Feb. 20 the committee would look into several solutions, arming teachers included.
Most prominently, President Donald Trump has suggested multiple times arming teachers as a way to prevent future school shootings.
During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Friday, Trump said if a teacher had a gun at the Florida high school they would have “shot the hell out of” the shooter “before he knew what happened.”
Gov. Roy Cooper responded to Johnson’s tweet less than an hour after it was posted, agreeing with him.
On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper told Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen that the president’s idea to arm teachers is “ridiculous.”