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N.H. to give $100K to families of teachers 'killed in the line of duty'

By
Danielle Haynes
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu's spokesman said he'll sign a law giving a $100,000 death benefit to the families of any teachers or school workers killed by violence in school. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu's spokesman said he'll sign a law giving a $100,000 death benefit to the families of any teachers or school workers killed by violence in school. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- As lawmakers debate whether to train teachers to carry firearms to potentially engage with school shooters, New Hampshire's legislature passed a bill that would give $100,000 to the families of teachers killed on the job.

Both chambers of the New Hampshire General Court passed the legislation Wednesday. A spokesman for Gov. Chris Sununu said he plans to sign the bill.

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The death benefit would go to the families of teachers, and any full-time or part-time public school workers "killed in the line of duty." K-12 schools, community colleges and public universities are included.

"I pray to God that we never have to use the death benefit," state Rep. Mary Heath, a Democrat, told CNN.

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The move comes as schools and lawmakers debate how to keep students and teachers safe amid some high-profile school shootings. Earlier this month, two substitute teachers were among the 10 dead during a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., a geography teacher, football coach and athletic director died in a shooting in February.

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After the Florida shooting, President Donald Trump floated the idea of allowing teachers with firearm experience to carry concealed weapons on campus to limit response time in the event of a shooting.

"This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it's called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They'd go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone," the president said during a listening session with Parkland survivors in February. "Gun-free zone to a maniac -- because they're all cowards -- a gun-free zone is 'let's go in and let's attack because bullets aren't coming back at us."

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During a town hall event, Ashley Kurth, a culinary instructor at Stoneman Douglas who sheltered nearly 70 students during the shooting, questioned whether she will be expected to receive firearm training and keep a bulletproof vest in the classroom.

Nelson said arming faculty is a "terrible idea."

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