Fans of Arming School Staff Have Surprising Opponent

Insurance companies, who say they will deny coverage or jack up premiums
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2013 7:03 PM CDT
Fans of Arming School Staff Have Surprising Opponent
Cori Sorensen, a fourth grade teacher from Highland Elementary School in Highland, Utah, receives firearms training.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Arming staff with guns may not be the magic bullet some schools had hoped in the battle to prevent future school shootings. That's because many insurers won't even let them try, the New York Times reports. In Kansas, where schools are now allowed to arm employees, EMC, the insurance company for 90% of school districts, says any school that does so will lose their coverage. "We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial security of our company," it told agents in a letter. In Oregon, the organization that manages coverage for most school districts recently announced they would have to pay an additional $2,500 premium every year for each armed staff member.

But some advocates of gun-toting teachers say that if the current school insurers are too gun shy, the market will soon find a solution. Three community colleges in Kansas recently dropped their EMC insurance and say it wasn't hard to find a new insurer at all. In fact, it says, its new insurance plan will save it $2 million over the next decade. And in Texas, one school district has been arming its staff since 2007, and has also saved money by switching insurers. The district's superintendent says there have been no gun-related accidents in the six years the policy has been in place. "The only time we’ve had to use a firearm was to shoot at a wild pig," he says. (Read more guns in schools stories.)

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