Former Fort Wayne Mayor Helmke: Arming Teachers "Bad Idea"

By Corinne Rose

March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 8:24 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke received a local catholic award this afternoon, and gave his opinion about arming teachers in the classroom.

The Father Tom O'Conner Light of Christ Award honors the late priest at Saint Mary's Catholic Church.

Helmke received the award for his leadership in public policy and non-violence.

He served as mayor of Fort Wayne from 1988 to 2000, and is the immediate past president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

As for local proposals to arm teachers in response to mass shootings across the country, Helmke says it's a bad idea.

He says as mayor, he learned that police officers involved in shoot outs only hit their target 20% of the time, and can't imagine placing teachers in that position.

"If we're asking a teacher, who hasn't had that testing, hasn't had that training, hasn't gone through all that, to carry a loaded gun around in their classroom, I think we're endangering our students, we're endangering our teachers. I have no problem with having police officers assigned to schools that are considered at risk, to having school resource officers. But to arm teachers, I think, is asking too much of our teachers and I think is putting our students and other teachers and staff in danger," Helmke says.

Helmke says the conservative Supreme Court has already supported things like who can carry weapons and where, and he's confident Congress will enact some common-sense legislation, like mandatory background checks for everyone who buys a gun.

He's a professor at I.U. Bloomington, teaching urban problems and solutions.

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