Governor Phil Bryant recently sat down with News Mississippi to discuss the legislative session and his recent trip to Washington, D.C.
During his time visiting with President Donald Trump, Governor Bryant spoke with him about school safety.
“I had an opportunity to talk to him about his idea regarding arming some teachers and help the media understand that it was a recommendation that teachers, of their own volition, hopefully, those that have had some experience, maybe law enforcement or military, and take specific training courses might be able to arm themselves in a school… to protect the students,” Gov. Bryant said.
Before Columbine, Sandy Hook, and the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida, Mississippi experienced a school shooting in 1997 at Pearl High school.
“The vice-principal at the time retrieved a 1911 caliber .45 from his vehicle and stopped that shooting,” Bryant said. “That may be just one example, but separate and apart from that, it’s the idea of having multiple individuals within the school… that has some history of it.”
Governor Bryant said that only individuals who have been trained and are comfortable being armed in a classroom should go through the training.
“The only way you can stop someone with a weapon in a live fire situation is with another weapon,” Bryant said. “You are not going to be able to shout him down, you are not going to be able to spray him. You have to have a live weapon to be able to do that. We are not going to stand by and see someone come into schools and begin to murder children without having some protection.”
Bryant also touched on the possibility of announcing a special session to discuss the education funding re-write which died in the Senate after a vote to re-commit it to the committee.
“I don’t see that happening just now, but I always listen to the leadership in the House and the Senate,” Bryant said. “If there was a request by the Lt. Governor and the Speaker to be able to do so I certainly would consider it.”
In addition, a bill was passed that would create a facility for children in need of long-term care. Governor Bryant and his wife, First Lady Deborah Bryant strongly supported the bill that is the first of its kind in the state.
“The most important part now is the children, and their lives, and the quality care that can be provided to them,” Bryant said.
Governor Bryant gave a brief overview of his trip to Washington saying that he was able to take part in a meeting with the Royal Commonwealth Society.
“It was a remarkable night of reaching out to the international community for economic opportunities,” Bryant said.
After the first night, Bryant said he met with Governors from across the country at the National Governor’s Association.
“We spent an entire half day at the White House meeting with every secretary, literally,” Bryant said.
He added that economic growth was the main topic during his time in D.C., saying that he was able to meet with delegates from Japan and China.
“I had meetings with Japanese delegations, with Chinese delegations, regarding business opportunities with those countries,” Bryant said. “I spoke to the American Enterprise Institute about early childhood education in Mississippi, and finally wrapped it up with a speech at the chamber of commerce on international economic development in the southern states.”