Nebraska Senator Advocates for Arming School Employees in Wake of Iowa School Shooting


In an effort to stop another school shooting in the future, lawmakers from Nebraska are responding to the fatal shooting in Perry, Iowa.

In less than ten minutes, police arrived at an Iowa high school after a flurry of gunfire and mayhem broke out. By that time, Dylan Butler, a seventeen-year-old shooter, had killed one sixth-grader and wounded seven others before taking his own life.

“If you don’t have real-time ability to deal with the situation, you’re going to have these kinds of situations where it’s after the fact,” Tom Brewer, a state senator, said.

Brewer stated that he will present a school safety bill the next week as a result. Among other things, it will provide Nebraskan schools the opportunity to arm its staff members.

I’m not suggesting that teachers be armed. The school board makes that decision. Brewer stated, “It might be a janitor or an administrator.”

Administrators and the school board would make the decisions, and a documented policy would be required.

“They must receive training. They must possess knowledge and be prepared. Thus, in the event of an event, they truly add value, according to Brewer.

The weapon would typically be locked, he claimed, and only the authorized individual would be able to access it.

It has never been intended for someone to transport it. It would come with a locking device of some kind. Thus, they might get it back if needed,” Brewer stated.

A number of school administrators and law enforcement officials, many of whom were from rural areas, said during an interim hearing in December that hiring school resource officers was not an option and that police enforcement may be miles away.

“Your response time could be forty-five minutes. Well, in forty-five minutes, a lot of horrible things could happen. Brewer remarked, “Look what happened in Iowa in seven minutes.

Brewer stated that his measure would permit off-duty police to respond to an emergency or pick up their children on school property while carrying their service firearms.

“If you’re a sworn law enforcement officer, 24/7, 365, if you need to go into a school, whether it’s to pick up your kids or to help respond to an event, they should not have to worry about being charged with a felony,” Brewer stated.

In addition, his plan calls for state funding to improve building security and set up a response structure for responding police enforcement.

“On the lines of a ‘Amber Alert’ only for law enforcement that goes out to everybody’s phone, and they know where it’s happening, where at the school it’s happening, and then it’s a combined effort,” Brewer explained.

Sen. Lynne Walz of State expressed her sadness at the most recent school-related horrific shooting.

We’ve got to find a way to prevent this from happening,” Walz stated.

She introduced LB 1008 on Friday.

It asks for an additional $45 million in infrastructure improvements for schools connected to security.

Legislators allocated $10 million last year, which the Nebraska Department of Education was in the process of allocating.

So, it’s obvious that our schools are needing some help,” Walz stated.

She feels that addressing the reasons behind these deaths should receive more focus.

Ensuring that mental health services are available to families and students in our schools is the most important thing we can and must do. and allocate sufficient funds to enable the schools to receive those resources,” Walz stated.

She is grateful that Brewer’s plan permits local control.

“The choice is local. And that, in my opinion, is extremely important to the whole idea that Sen. Brewer is putting forth,” Walz stated.

The 26,000-member Nebraska State Education Association is against school staff members carrying weapons.

We don’t think arming employees is the solution,” stated Jenni Benson, president of NSEA.

Benson was a member of the Nebraska School Safety Task Force, which recommended funding for school psychologists or mental health professionals.

“What we need is to arm ourselves with more resources, with more ability to help all kids to find out what’s going on and to not answer with weapons,” Benson stated.

The chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee is state senator Justin Wayne.

In regards to school security, he stated that he is prepared to collaborate with Brewer and other senators.

“A horrible event occurred at the end of the day. Additionally, we need to figure out how to guarantee the security of our schools. That’s right, we have to safeguard our children,” Wayne remarked.

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