Insurers put the brakes on arming teachers
When 20 children and six educators were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, several states rushed to put guns in the hands of teachers. Now the companies that insure their schools are preparing to raise premiums or revoke coverage.
If lawmakers and administrators didn’t recognize the liability of guns in schools, insurance companies certainly did. The New York Times reported this week that EMC Insurance Companies, the liability insurance provider for about 90 percent of Kansas school districts, has informed its agents that it will decline coverage to schools allowing employees to carry concealed handguns.
Seven states, including Kansas, enacted laws this year permitting educators to carry guns in school. Legislation was proposed in Indiana requiring at least one employee in each school to carry a loaded weapon if a school resource officer – a trained police officer – was not present. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the new law instead called for a summer study committee to research other safety measures.
The Indiana legislation was likely influenced by a development the Times noted: Noble County Sheriff Douglas Harp offered to deputize teachers to carry handguns and a community member donated $27,000 for weapons before Indiana Public Employers Plan, the group that handles workers’ compensation for Noble County and East Noble schools, indicated both the county and school district would need to find a new insurer if the plan was approved.