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PACKING HEAT: Pakistani Teachers Get Firearm Training

Pakistani teachers are packing heat to protect themselves from the Taliban.

Police in northwest Pakistan, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, are providing firearm training to teachers, male and female, in an effort to make schools safer from the Taliban, The New York Times reports. This training effort comes after the devastating Peshwar school shooting in December.

In the Peshwar attack, Taliban members massacred at least 145 people, 132 of them children, at Army Public School, CNN reports. The attack rattled the country and raised questions about Pakistan’s relationship with terrorism.

Now, in at least one province, the teachers are fighting back.

The decision to train and arm teachers has drawn widespread criticism within the country, some doubting the teachers’ effectiveness against trained Taliban fighters, The New York Times reports. Schools are also hiring more security and building walls, measures that are straining their budgets and forcing them to get creative.

The program is voluntary and teachers will not be allowed to have their weapons in plain sight. Teachers are conflicted on carrying firearms, but some say it makes them and their students feel safer, CNN reports.

The provincial government has upped its commitment to school security in light of the shooting, pledging to spend $69 million, but officials say it is not enough to protect the province’s 35,000 government schools.

With the lack of funding, the move to arm teachers is an attempt by a desperate government to protect their students from the ruthless Taliban fighters.

Hopefully, the teachers will never have to test their training.

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