Mayor Emanuel responds to president’s proposal to arm teachers

CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said President Donald Trump’s idea to arm teachers is “upside down and inside out.”

His remarks came after a White House forum on school safety in which the president suggested arming trained teachers.

Mayor Emanuel spoke at an event downtown Chicago to honor recent academic gains in CPS but the topic of the day was school safety in the in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting.

The president is calling for teachers to be trained and armed – even suggesting bonus pay for those who undergo firearms training,

He made the comments during a White House forum with law enforcement officials to discuss proposals that could prevent future school shootings.

“These are experts. These would be people that actually would want them and it would be a small percentage but it would be a lot of people. And once you do this, you will have a situation where all of a sudden this horrible plague will stop,” President Trump said.

The idea was met with disbelief by Mayor Emanuel, who has spent decades fighting for stricter gun laws from his positions at the White House, Congress and City Hall.

“It is absurd anyway you look at it by President Trump, that the best way to protect our kids is to bring more guns into schools,” he said.

Emanuel stressed the need to make all schools and 1,000 feet surrounding them “gun-free zones.”

“I remember when we passed gun-free zones in the 90s,” he said.

But President Trump and NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre called schools soft targets and suggested repealing laws making gun-free zones around schools.

“Can we answer that question honestly knowing that we surround and protect so much with armed security while we drop our kids off at school that are so called gun free zones that are wide open targets for any crazy mad man bent on evil to come there first,” Lapierre said.

“The idea is to actually create in the school and around the school, an area that is protected from guns. Now we have a president who is taking what has been common sense to anybody – both on the public safety side and the public education side – and turning that upside down and inside out,” Emanuel said.

The mayor went onto say that it’s the kind of idea that comes from a president who is himself “upside down and inside out.”