Local senator drafting bill to arm teachers in Washington schools

AUBURN, Wash. — As President Trump is calling for teachers and other school staff to be armed, a local senator is drafting a bill to do just that in Washington State.

State Senator Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, wants to set aside $10 million for a gun training program for teachers across the state. He says students here deserve the same protection as politicians.

Fortunato said the program would be voluntary and every teacher who wants to be armed would undergo a psychological evaluation.

Aside from gun training, they would also get lessons in de-escalating a threatening situation.

He told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson on Thursday night that students would not know which teachers and staff were armed.

“Let’s say we have a high school and we have 50 teachers and administrators, heck the janitor could participate in this …” Fortunato said. “Out of those 50, five of them decide to participate in this project. Which five? So the whole secret is if somebody was to attempt to do something, he doesn’t know which teacher or which administrator would be armed in that situation. That would be a force multiplier by keeping that information confidential,” said Fortunato.

Fortunato says in light of recent school shootings, he wants to take an aggressive step to protect students.

He is set to have to a press conference Monday to explain how the program would work.