New Hampshire teachers could get death benefit if shot in the line of duty

Victims of the Parkland school shooting
Facebook: Scott Beigel via CNN
Teacher Scott Beigel

School shootings in this country are becoming so depressingly common that lawmakers in New Hampshire just passed a bill that would give the state’s teachers a $100,000 death benefit if they’re “killed in the line of duty” — a phrase generally used when talking about police or firefighters.

The bill, HB1415, would give $100,000 to the family of not just teachers but any full-time or part-time public school employee killed in an act of violence while working in the state’s schools, including community colleges and universities.

A spokesman for New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said the governor will sign the bill, CNN affiliate WMUR reports.

One of the bill’s sponsors said she wants the families of teachers and staff to be taken care of financially in case the unthinkable happens.

“I pray to God that we never have to use the death benefit,” state Rep. Mary Heath, a Democrat who is also a retired teacher, told CNN.

Heath said she gets “teary-eyed” just thinking about all of the school shootings. “It’s so disturbing to think that children can’t be safe in schools,” she said.

Heath was an educator for 42 years and her daughter is a teacher. She said they talked about the recent shootings and agreed “in a heartbeat we would all stand up to protect our students.”

The death-benefit measure was included in a $10 million bill to improve security in the state’s public schools, Heath said.