Updated: Saturday, 23 Feb 2013, 8:17 AM EST
Published : Friday, 22 Feb 2013, 7:34 PM EST
NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) - It's a question communities across the country are asking: Do teachers need to be armed to keep school children safe? In some states, elected officials are proposing laws that would mandate schools to have teachers and staff carrying concealed weapons. Others are leaving it up to individual school boards to decide.
In Noble County, the sheriff came up with a plan of his own. Don't just arm some teachers, make them special deputies and send them through the training that goes with it.
In a NewsChannel 15 special report, Alyssa Ivanson gets an exclusive look inside the first part of that training.
"If we're truly concerned about the lives of children in our schools, this, in my opinion, is the only viable option," Noble County Deputy Tim Cain and former LaGrange County prosecutor Tim Cain, said.
Sheriff Doug Harp wants to have armed special deputies in every school in the county. That's 15 public schools and four private schools.
Central Noble Community Schools is moving forward with the idea. East and West Noble are still considering it, but West Noble has sent some staff to get the initial training to help make a decision.
"In active shooter situations, the national average is between eight and ten minutes for officers to get in the door. In ten minutes an active shooter has the potential to destroy a lot of life," Deputy Shafter Baker said. "By having emergency responders in the classroom, you put weapons where the fight's at. They have the potential to intercept, engage and stop the loss of life."
Baker is the fire arms instructor for the class the school staff going through the program will take. Ivanson assumed the role of an educator and joined several administrators to go through the training to experience it firsthand. Officers from Noble County Sheriff's Department and Kendallville and Ligonier Police Departments helped run the training.
Keeping who might be carrying a concealed weapon inside the school a secret is key to making the program work . That's why NewsChannel 15 is not revealing the identities of the educators in the training.
From the classroom to the range, it was a full day of firearms.
"You can start to see what the training is going to do and how that would be preparing you to have that weapon," a principal said.
Wednesday at 6 p.m. experience the training as a teacher would in the NewsChannel 15 special report, Arming Miss Ivanson.