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Trump Has Another Idea to 'Harden' Schools

He thinks armed teachers should get bonuses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2018 5:18 AM CST
Updated Feb 23, 2018 6:42 AM CST

(Newser) – President Trump has proposed a pay rise for teachers—armed ones, that is. The president said Thursday that arming teachers would make schools "hardened targets," and teachers who undergo weapons training and carry guns should get a bonus, CNN reports. "These people are cowards. They're not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns—it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I'd recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus," he said. The president slammed gun-free zones, saying they were like "ice cream" to killers. "They see that as such a beautiful target," he said. "They live for gun-free zones." More:

  • Teachers' union responds. American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten said union members aren't interested in Trump's proposal. "Teachers don't want to be armed," he said. "We want to teach. We don't want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15."

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  • NRA "reeled Trump back in." Democrats accused Trump of parroting the ideas of the gun lobby, the New York Times reports. "Not surprised the NRA reeled President Trump back in," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "Just amazed at how fast it happened." Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: "No police officer, no educator of any note is advocating that what we need is more weapons on school campuses rather than fewer."
  • Shooter drills are "very negative." The president said school shooting drills were tough on kids and they're not something he wants to talk to his son about. "Active shooter drills is a very negative thing, I'll be honest with you," he said. "I think that's a very negative thing to be talking about." The Hill reports that White House spokesman Raj Shah later said Trump sees active shooter drills as a "bad brand" and thinks they should have a less frightening name, like "safety drills."
  • Bucking the NRA. Trump's critics accuse him of being too cozy with the NRA, though some of his proposed policies put him directly at odds with the group, the AP reports. The president says he supports banning people under 21 from buying semi-automatic weapons, and he believes the NRA will eventually support the plan. "Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!" he tweeted Thursday.

  • Listening phase. Aides say Trump, who met with attorneys general Thursday as well as state leaders, is still in the "listening phase" amid calls for action after the Parkland shooting, the Washington Post reports. The White House says, however, says proposals to ban semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 are not being considered.
  • "Fake News." Trump returned to an old theme Thursday following a Fox report on CNN's emotional town hall meeting in Florida Wednesday night, where Sen. Marco Rubio and an NRA spokeswoman were jeered by a crowd that included school shooting survivors. "School shooting survivor says he quit @CNN Town Hall after refusing scripted question," Trump tweeted. "Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse."
  • "One of the greatest people I have ever known." The AP reports that a funeral was held Thursday for Aaron Feis, the football coach killed while shielding students during the Parkland shooting. Joe LaGuardia, who went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with Feis, called him "one of the greatest people I have ever known."
(Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says he was "devastated" to discover that the armed resource officer assigned to the school stayed outside instead of trying to stop the shooter.)

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