That is the question! Trainers and security experts are divided on this question. They either approach the topic with caution or avoid it totally as a bad idea.
Some states, such as Utah, allow bus drivers to carry concealed weapons as long as they are certified. This Utah law has been in effect for a couple of years and was passed in response to school shootings and legislative involvement. An assistant professor at a security and intelligence college in Arizona is quoted as saying his personal view is that the decision should be driven on how long law enforcement’s response time will be. If it is going to take 15 minutes or more for the police to arrive, then that risk may warrant arming somebody, but they should be trained on the appropriate use of force and how to shoot in a tactical situation – and not just a course on gun safety.
In rural settings schools may not have a police officer or a security expert assigned to ride along on the buses. In this situation, their decision might be based on the above scenario.
The safety coordinator at the Missouri Center for Educational Safety has said things change when someone is shooting at you. If you put a gun in a bus driver’s hand and they hit the target, they will be a hero. But if they hit a teacher or student, they are a zero, and they’ve completely changed their life forever.
Some security experts and many school administrators say they hope the increased emphasis on training will prevent the discussions on whether to arm school bus drivers. Because when you pull that trigger, there’s no taking that back.