Teachers Flock To Tulsa's U.S. Shooting Academy Class

Saturday, January 19th 2013, 9:32 pm

Scores of Green Country teachers are getting armed and ready in case Oklahoma law allows them to carry guns at school.

Hundreds of teachers registered Saturday for a concealed carry class at the U.S. Shooting Academy.

Some of the teachers said they're signing up for the course in hopes they'll eventually be able to pack heat in the classroom.

"I know in my classroom, if somebody wanted to come in, they'd have no problem, just break the glass and get right in and there's no protection," high school teacher Jessica Decker said.

Decker said her classroom is where she feels most vulnerable.

The safety of her students is her No. 1 priority.

"We're there for the kids and really that's the whole point of what we're doing," Decker said. "If we can't protect them and ensure a safe environment for them, we're not really doing our jobs."

Oklahoma State Representative Mark McCullough said he's backing legislation that could allow teachers to arm themselves in the classroom.

Dave Saye with U.S. Shooting Academy decided it was the perfect time to invite teachers and other school staff to the gun range for a free gun safety course.

The course is about more than just how to handle a gun, it's about arming these educators with the basic knowledge they need to keep the classroom safe.

"It basically tells you when you should and shouldn't use your weapon and the legal ramifications of doing so," Saye said.

There were also some skeptical educators that showed to register.

Glenpool High School Assistant Principal Matt Hilburn said the state is a long way from allowing teachers to carry guns in class.

"I think most teachers wouldn't feel very comfortable, so obviously for them to be able to have a gun wouldn't be a good idea," Hilburn said.

But Decker said with the right training and proper screening, being armed at school is the only sure way for safety.

"If we have even just two or three teachers in the school that are protected or that can protect the kids like that, I think that can really make a difference," Decker said.

There will be several courses scheduled for educators in the next few months.

Now, these teachers realize that even by taking the course, it's still against the law for them to carry a gun on school property.