Governor Signs Bill to Help Arm School Staff

by Brian Wilson
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Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that lets school boards choose to have teachers and other staff volunteer to carry a gun on school grounds. Lawmakers who worked on the bill say at least 20 school districts have been planning to take that step. A 2021 law let Iowa schools authorize staff to carry a weapon, but school districts were unable to get insurance. The new law provides qualified immunity to schools, meaning the school and the employee would be protected from criminal charges and civil lawsuits over the use of reasonable force. Legislators also voted, in a separate bill, to provide grants of up to $25,000 to pay for staff to undergo the training to obtain the professional permit required. Republican Sen. Dan Zumbach of Ryan says lawmakers should support school districts however they choose to protect students.

Senator Cindy Winckler of Davenport is among the Democrats who opposed the policy.

The grant program is included in a bill that also lets districts use dedicated infrastructure funding to install additional security, like video surveillance software that can detect firearms.

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