I-TEAM: Area teachers train to pack heat in the classroom

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by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

kens5.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 10:38 AM

MOODY, Texas – Teachers stand where rows of corn once grew, lined up outside of Moody, Texas. An armed man barks a command over the howl of the wind.

“Magazine in. Shove it home. Make it hot,” says Johnny Price. “Ladies, think about Dirty Harriet. Get aggressive,” he adds.

These educators are in class, and “off” the lesson plan.

“Fire!” the instructor yells.

Teachers, administrators, even cafeteria workers from the local school district, and half a dozen like it, are preparing for a disaster—one they hope never comes to their classroom.

“I don’t want to be a sitting duck, and if there’s anything I can do to save one of my kids I want to do it,” said Moody High School teacher Karen Rothermel. 

Rothermel teaches English. Today she’s learning Glock. Sandy Hook awakened her to what troubled youth can bring with them to class.

“Because I can’t put tenth and eleventh-grade students in a closet. They’re too big. You want to think, if they take me out, that’s fine, but let me try to save my kids,” said Rothermel.
 
Firearms instructor Johnny Price paces the line of teachers. Some are experienced, others have never touched a handgun. He’s got four other range officers from his company, Big Iron CHL, watching the shooters.
 
“Pulling the trigger’s the last thing you want to do. It’s all about being ready, just prepared,” said Price.
 
Price is offering the classes to teachers and administrators for free…for a reason.
 
“It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of 'when' the next one strikes,” he said, referring to a mass-shooting event.
 
It is estimated there are some 300,000,000 firearms in the United States. Some of the teachers in this class said they would like to see the guns in the classroom, where they can become “first-responders."
 
Texas law says anyone can carry on campus, if the school district approves of it. At least two districts allow teachers to carry guns: Harrold ISD and Union Grove.  
 
Many are now considering joining them—especially rural districts with limited law enforcement resources that take several minutes to respond.
 
In Moody, the superintendent is considering arming principals first.
 
But football coaches like Jesse Smitherman wouldn’t mind packing heat, either.
 
“I’m for it, honestly. Because, like they say, the only thing that’s going to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Smitherman said.
 
Judging by the faces along the firing line, it’s the first time many of these teachers have ever picked up a gun. The instructors say make no mistake—some folks are not prepared for a gun or its consequences.
 
But Price says he admires school administrators who want to see someone armed, other than a criminal, walking a school’s halls.
 
Price added, “God made us all different shapes and sizes. Smith and Wesson made us equal.”

LINK: Information about CHL classes

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