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Oakland Schools Push Back Against Trump's Proposal To Arm Teachers

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – President Donald Trump has proposed arming some teachers with firearms following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida but police and teachers who work in Oakland public schools say arming teachers with guns would actually make things more dangerous.

The Oakland Unified School District has their own police force and its chief, Jeff Godown, didn't waste words on President Trump's proposal to arm teachers.

"Well, I think it's ridiculous," said Godown. "It's just a knee-jerk reaction to a subject matter he knows nothing about."

Chief Godown is talking about the practical odds of a teacher armed with a handgun, facing down someone with an assault weapon, saying someone with an assault weapon is no match for someone with a handgun.

"The weaponry he had and the amount of rounds that he had, we would be hard pressed to stop the kid with the handgun I have on my belt...There's no match for that."

Godown said, "This predator knows that the first round he caps off, he's probably got somewhere between five and 10 minutes before the cavalry's coming."

And while many can die in those few minutes, Chief Godown says having teachers with guns would actually make things more dangerous.

Godown said, "If the police show up and there's a civilian in there with a gun, how do we know it's a teacher?"

The teachers' union doesn't want educators to be armed either.

"This does not make our children safe," said Oakland Education Association President Trish Gorham. "To have those children know that there is a gun in the room, wondering about where it is? We need to be talking about real safety at school sites, not arming teachers."

Chief Godown says it's not that easy.

"A lot of schools have metal detectors, they have security guards, they have police officers. The school in Florida had that," Godown said. "The reality is when someone comes in with a weapon or a rifle such as this kid had, you're going to have a hard time stopping him."

Godown will be holding a training session for teachers - his latest in a series of training sessions - to help educators handle emergency situations such as school shootings.

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