ATLANTA -

School employees in Georgia could not be punished for refusing to carry firearms under changed legislation being debated by state lawmakers.

A subcommittee on Tuesday changed parts of a plan from Rep. Paul Battles of Cartersville that would add some protections for educators.

The Republican lawmaker introduced his plan after a gunman opened fire in a Connecticut school on Dec. 14, killing six adults and 20 first-graders. The amended legislation would allow school boards to designate any employee to carry a firearm if they met minimum training and mental health screening requirements.

The new version would also require that firearms be kept on the authorized employee or in a secured box.

A House committee was scheduled to debate Battles' proposal later Tuesday.