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Should Teachers Carry Guns?

Image // Emma Meyhofer

Image // Emma Meyhofer

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In 2018 alone there have been 18 school shootings.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, there have been 290 acts of violence in schools.

All of these shootings have raised many questions; one of which is a question that no one wants to think about, but one that they must think about: should teachers be able to carry guns?

After the Parkland Massacre, where 17 students died after a gunman opened fire, the debate on whether teachers should be armed has only intensified. Both sides of this argument are extremely distinct. Many believe that if we arm teachers, that they will be able to stop the shooter before they have a chance to hurt anyone.

Dave Workman is the editor of The Gun Mag, which is a gun magazine that supports the NRA as well as the Second Amendment. On the subject, Workman states that “The teachers become the first responders sometimes. It does take a while for them to respond to an incident.”

The Florida shooting has fueled the flaming debate on whether or not teachers and administrators should carry guns in school as a safety precaution. Many laws that allow guns to be on school grounds only apply to college campus security, not middle or high schools.

After the Florida shooting, President Trump tweeted: “Armed educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them… Very smart people. Must be firearm adept and have annual training. Should get a yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen- a big and very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.” The president later commented that teachers carrying guns are a “common-sense” measure and that schools need to “harden.”

I’m absolutely against it. I don’t believe it will bring any kind of safety measures to the schools. We have guns in our home because my husband hunts but I don’t think that they belong in schools. I can’t imagine that would bring any kind of safety in that amount of chaos”

— Mrs. Istone, School Nurse

However, there is another side to the argument. While some believe that arming teachers is the best protective measure against gun violence, there are many who believe that bringing guns into schools will only cause more violence and less protection against the students.

The people that are against arming teachers believe that teachers should focus on what their job description says: teaching students. Teachers simply do not have the expertise to be a sniper and no amount of training could prepare anyone for that situation.

Take the Parkland security officer for example:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has an armed security guard that never even came into contact with the shooter that day.

Also, amidst all of that gunfire and chaos, it would be nearly impossible for a teacher to figure out who the actual threat is if 20% of teachers are armed and shooting.

But what do the students of NAI think?

 

NAEye conducted a poll of 100 students to see what their opinions on arming teachers were.

70% of the students voted that they do not believe that teachers should carry guns in school. 29% voted that teachers should carry guns and 1% was neutral on the topic.

Mrs. Istone, the school nurse said that “I’m absolutely against it. I don’t believe it will bring any kind of safety measures to the schools. We have guns in our home because my husband hunts but I don’t think that they belong in schools. I can’t imagine that would bring any kind of safety in that amount of chaos.”

Mrs. Ewing, a vice principal here at NAI, said: “I feel that the teachers have a lot of responsibility with planning, teaching, and caring for our students emotionally and academically. We should put other precautions in place so we don’t have to go down that route.”

Lawmakers in Florida have already passed new gun laws in the wake of the shooting. The legislation allows local sheriffs to deputize school staff as volunteer “guardians” that have to undergo special training, mental health screening, and drug screening. They also need to have a license to carry a concealed weapon. Classroom teachers are excluded from participating unless they are veterans, JROTC instructors, or ex-police officers.

Only non-teacher personnel, such as administrators, guidance counselors, librarians, and coaches are eligible.

“I do not think teachers should carry guns…I believe protecting our students is our number one priority but I don’t think teachers carrying guns is the best way of accomplishing this.” Said Mr. Coleman, a math teacher.

Teachers potentially carrying guns is just one of the ways that schools are trying to protect their students. To help prevent shootings in the future, schools are adopting a public health approach. This means that they are going to the community in order to lower the levels of bullying and discrimination.

Prevention is the first step to stopping a tragedy from occurring.

In response to this debate, the #ArmMeWith movement has emerged. This movement involves both teachers and students holding up signs that read what they believe schools should be armed with in place of guns, such as “Books not bullets” or “Skills to prevent violence”. The signs often talk about improving gun laws and creating an environment where students learn in an environment where students are more than just statistics.

As legislators continue to debate on the proper measures to be taken in the wake of ongoing school violence, the debate on whether teachers should be armed is sure to become even more a part of the national conversation.

 

1 Comment

One Response to “Should Teachers Carry Guns?”

  1. mike jordan on March 13th, 2018 11:52 am

    they should carry guns for saftey

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Should Teachers Carry Guns?