An educator in Illinois carried her gun into school for the first time after completing 9 months of police officer training because her district lacked the budget to employ a full-time resource officer.
Julie Kramer, the superintendent of a rural 320 student school in the Hutsonville school district, said she wanted to become a police officer so she could carry legally on school property in the event of a shooting.
“If somebody comes in to try to hurt my kids, we have something other than a stapler to throw at them. We’re no longer a soft target. We have some options. I’m just going to be a superintendent that happens to also be a police officer. … I have to be able to protect my kids.”
The 51-year-old educator began the training after a student in a nearby school shot a class mate in the cafeteria. It was a wake-up call for Kramer.
She told Time Magazine:
“I think sometimes we sit back and think it’ll never happen here, it’ll never happen to us, it’s states away. But that was really close to home.”
So instead, she did something about it. Attending a police academy where she participated in all things related to being a sworn officer of the law:
How to make arrests, ground fighting, proper use of non-lethals such as pepper spray and tasers, and a 40-hour course on fighting with a gun.
“It is definitely not that common,” Chuck Doan, director of Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training Program said, “Although I think it’s kind of a sad state of affairs, it’s important that we have people in our schools who can make a police response when necessary, whether that’s in the form of a police officer assigned by the department or someone like Julie.”
Although it’s rare, Kramer is not the first educator to seek police training in defense of their school. The superintendent in Goreville IL, Steve Webb, became a police officer when, like Kramer, he was unable to afford the salary of a resource officer. Now he organizes active shooter training for schools in his district.
Though Kramer had her concealed handgun permit before going to the police academy, she feels allowing teachers to carry guns because they have a CCW permit or military service isn’t enough. More rigorous training like that of a police officer is essential.
What do you think? Do you agree with Ms. Kramer? Let us know why, or why not in the comments below.