Senator Chuck Grassley. (file photo)

A teacher tackled a young gunman at an Indiana middle school last week to end a shooting rampage, raising renewed questions about the concept of arming teachers.

During his town hall meetings in Iowa this Memorial Day recess week, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s been hearing from concerned Iowans who want to see school security improved. “I think there’s a lot of thought going into what can be done to make the buildings safer,” Grassley says. “Except for maybe metal detectors, I think it probably involves personnel more than anything else.”

During a town hall meeting in Eagle Grove, Grassley said he’s hoping action can be taken soon on federal funding for improving the safety and security of our school buildings. Grassley says he doesn’t think teachers should be packing pistols, but he adds, it’s not his call to make.

“There’s a real reluctance for members of Congress to make a decision that the Eagle Grove school district ought to arm teachers,” Grassley says. “That’s just like a lot of education issues. I would leave that to the local school district.” In the Indiana incident, the 7th grade science teacher was shot three times, but survived. Grassley says the situation is stirring many emotions as we all seek solutions to the continued violence.

“There’s other people, like the president feels that we ought to be arming teachers but I don’t happen to feel that way,” Grassley says. “I don’t want to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to arming teachers. I just want that to be a local decision.” So far this year, there have been 23 school shootings nationwide in which someone was hurt or killed, an average of more than one per week.

(Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City contributed to this report)