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Lawmaker plans to block plan to arm Arizona teachers

PHOENIX -- When teachers return to classroom after the long holiday break, they won't be armed but a state lawmaker expects a push in the upcoming legislative session to change that.

House Democratic leader Chad Campbell said arming teachers, principals or volunteer guards is a horrible idea, but he expects attempts from some Republicans. He said the solution is funding the school resource officer program which has been gutted since 2009.

"Basically by Gov. Brewer and the Tea Party for the past few years. We need to fund the school resource officer program," he said. "It puts trained law enforcement on the ground that knows how to do its job."

Campbell said funding also needs to be restored to threat assessment and emergency response planning in the schools so they have the tools they need.

"It is time for common sense," he said. "We don't need knee-jerk reactions and putting weapons in the hands of teachers is not the right thing to do. I have yet to talk with a teacher who wants that responsibility."

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About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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