U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, according to reports, wants to allow school systems to use federal education dollars to purchase guns for educators' use.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan said that's a "terrible approach to the issue of school safety."
Jordan, in a statement, said the issue ignored public-school children's real needs and teachers' wishes.
"If school safety is truly a concern of this administration, they should use these funds for school counselors and other services that help children deal with the trauma and violence they experience on a daily basis," Jordan said in the statement. "Once again, Betsy DeVos and her Department of Education are either out of touch or unconcerned with the real needs of our schools, educators, and schoolchildren."
DeVos and her staff are are considering using academic enrichment grants for schools and districts to buy the guns, officials said.
Teachers in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are forbidden from carrying weapons to school. In Pennsylvania, an Indiana County lawmaker has introduced legislation for the last three years that would allow school districts to create their own policies on whether trained educators can carry guns. That legislation has never advanced, though it got more attention this year, after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were murdered.