16 Mar Should Teachers Carry Guns in Classrooms?
After another deadly school shooting in Florida, is it time for teachers to carry guns?
The shooting in Florida that killed 17 students and staff members is another moment to question why so many firearms are accessible to so many people. The reason for a lot of these kinds of firearms are to kill as many people as possible. So in the end, we know it’s up to the teachers and faculties to protect the students. And when someone opens fire on students, teachers will give their lives for their students. There’s evidence that teachers actually shielded kids with their bodies.
After the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the threat of an attack by an armed gunman in elementary and high schools prompted five states to give school administrators the authority to arm their teachers. In 2013, legislation was introduced in at least 33 states related to arming teachers or school staff, but of the more than 80 bills introduced, only Alabama, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas enacted laws related to public schools, according to a report by the Council of State Governments.
Connecticut law, which previously let school officials allow people other than police to carry in schools, was revised after Newtown, so that only officers can carry guns on school grounds. Georgia passed a guns-in-schools bill this year. The other 22 of the 28 states allowing guns in schools already had versions of such laws in place.
In states where it is legal, parents may have no idea that their child’s teacher carries a gun into the classroom every day. School administrations can decide to gather the information, but they don’t have to disclose to anyone. From the office of the superintendent to a secretary’s desk, there is no file that contains the information.
In some cases, school districts and local school boards can designate school faculty to get specific training in order to carry. A few states, including Hawaii and New Hampshire, don’t set policy in state law. In Utah and Rhode Island, anyone with a concealed carry weapons permit can bring a firearm onto public school grounds.
With as many school shootings as we’ve experienced in this country, it is time we stop ignoring this issue.
Some people simply do not like guns — they see guns as nasty, profane, scary, loud, part of an alien culture of which they are entirely unfamiliar — and they believe that letting teachers carry guns will somehow denigrate or defile the educational environment. People are perfectly entitled to their opinions, of course. But this is a debate concerning vital matters of public safety, and we should not allow irrational anti-gun ideology to influence such a pressing and critical dialogue. It’s fine if some people don’t like guns, but that doesn’t mean we should prevent responsible people from carrying them and using them.
So it brings to this question, Should we allow teachers to carry gun in school?
While some are pushing for unconventional responses, such as arming teachers and staff, experts say schools should instead work to reinforce best practices and improve emergency response procedures, as well as coordination with law enforcement officials.
We must do more to provide greater access to mental health services, bullying prevention and other programs that will help create the safe and supportive learning environments our children deserve.
So what’s your take? Is this really the only solution?
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