I-Team: $4.9 million to arm every WCPSS teacher with a gun

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- As the Parkland, Fla., community mourns, communities in North Carolina continue debating what's desirable and what's realistic in terms of school security.

Among the ideas circulating among parents, teachers and lawmakers: installing metal detectors, hiring private security guards, and arming teachers with handguns. All of these security measures would require significant investment from taxpayers.

An ABC11 I-Team analysis shows that arming teachers with handguns would be the costliest measure, with a cost to Wake County taxpayers of at least $4.92 million.

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We calculated that by multiplying the number of teachers in the Wake County Public School System (10,359) by the listed price for a Glock 17 9mm handgun ($475). The guns, of course, would also require ammunition. If each gun has a capacity of 17 rounds, and each box of 100 rounds costs $25, the cost of arming the weapons would be $44,025.75.

According to security experts and gun safety instructors, teachers would also need a significant commitment in time and money for training purposes.

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The I-Team takes a look at the possible price tag of securing Wake County schools.

"You can't just hand anyone a gun and expect them to know how to use it at the right time or the right way," Mike Matthews, an instructor with 15 years of experience and a security officer with the independent firm Capitol Special Police, told ABC11. "You have to train to react. When all that happens you revert back to training. If you have 30 rounds on paper once a year - how good is that training for you?"

Teacher advocates, likewise, shared their apprehension to the idea of arming teachers.

"We definitely don't need weapons of war in classrooms or on the streets, Mike Jewell, President of NC Association of Educators, told ABC11. "That is not a viable option. We need more school personnel, we need to be armed with technology, with textbooks."

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