POLITICS

Randi Weingarten On NRA School Safety Report: 'Let's Not Make Our Schools Armed Fortresses'

04/03/2013 03:11 pm ET

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten spoke to HuffPost Live on Wednesday about the NRA-funded school safety report, which she has called a "cruel hoax that will fail to keep our children and schools safe."

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), head of a task force called the School Shield Program, released the 225-page report on Tuesday. He said at a press conference that "schools should be willing" to arm teachers if they take firearms training.

The task force recommended that schools designate willing staff to be armed and trained, and it proposed a model training program, 40-60 hours per person, at what Hutchinson said would be a cost of about $800 to $1,000 per trained employee. Armed school personnel, called school resource officers, would also be required to undergo a "background investigation, testing, and [have] relevant experience."

The committee didn't recommend any specific kind of firearm for school security, Hutchinson said, adding, "Everything from a sidearm, to a shotgun, to an AR-15" would work.

Weingarten was outraged by the report, telling HuffPost Live: "It's pretty ironic that the NRA, who has refused to consider advanced background checks to even have a gun, will say at the same time that the new school personnel should have background checks ... This is just a diversion, which is what the NRA's process seems to be."

"Let's not make our schools armed fortresses, let's not make them armed camps, let's actually try to reduce gun violence," she said.

Watch the HuffPost Live segment above.

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