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updated: 1/17/2013 8:01 AM

NE Ind. schools to consider arming teachers

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Associated Press

ALBION, Ind. -- Teachers in a northeastern Indiana county may soon be carrying guns in school if officials accept a proposal from the county sheriff.

Under Noble County Sheriff Doug Harp's plan, officials would choose up to four teachers in each school to undergo firearms training and be appointed as special deputies. The teachers' authority would be limited to school buildings.

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The Central Noble (County) School Board voted Tuesday night to consider the idea. Harp has delivered the same proposal to the East and West Noble School districts northwest of Fort Wayne.

Harp said that arming teachers would be more economical than paying school security officers. A private donor has offered to provide the guns if the plan is accepted.

"This was the only option we really felt where we could slow down an active shooter, or stop an active shooter because our response time typically is after the fact," Harp told WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne.

Harp said he would not charge the school to train staff members.

"A lot of the training we're talking about would mirror exactly what a normal police officer would go through, you know yearly qualifications, weapons safety and on-going training," he said.

Central Noble Community Schools already has security measures like locked doors and safety drills, but Superintendent Chris Daughtry said an armed staff member could make the difference between life and death.

"Most of these killings take place in a very short time window and by time the police actually get on the scene, the damage is done," said Daughtry.

Other school districts across the country have reviewed similar proposals prompted by last month's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The Central Noble board meets next on Feb. 19. No timeline for a decision was discussed.

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