Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns?

Bang bang! School safety officers train to use guns.

By: Grace C.

Imagine that your safety is jeopardized as a shooter rampages your school. You are running for your life in fear, thinking of the last words you said to your parents. This, unfortunately, is a problem that more and more students face as homicidal shooters target schools more often.

What if your teacher was armed with a gun and could just fend off the attacker to keep you safe. You would probably be terrified of ever attending school again, knowing that such a weapon is in your teacher’s hands, but you would still be safe and secure and the shooter may not have attacked your school in the first place.

Our current president, Donald J. Trump, and the Republicans have recently proposed to arm our educators with guns after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. 17 students and staff were killed and many others injured. If the staff had guns, would they have survived?

Florida’s State Senate are already supporting the idea of arming teachers, but Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, is opposed to the notion. The State Senate later changed the bill to read that up to 10 school personnel would be trained to carry weapons each school instead of arming most teachers in order for Governor Scott to sign the bill. He then signed the bill.

If teachers had guns, they might make the school safer, but on the other hand, they could cause more issues.

Many teachers wouldn’t be comfortable with using a gun, especially if they need to fire it in the event of an attack where they are in panic and lack tactical knowledge. Kiana Z., a seventh grade student at Blach who has used a gun, mentioned that “Shooting a gun and aiming correctly is a really hard thing to do, and especially in the situation where lives are at risk, there would be almost a 0% chance of shooting it correctly.”

Blach’s assistant principal and history teacher, Mr. Dewberry, stated, “I would not be comfortable because of the dangers of having a gun on campus.” Guns are fatal weapons and they would not only frighten the teachers, but also the students.

Mrs. Narula, Blach’s principal expressed that “I think that it would take the focus off of learning.”School should be a place where students come to learn and have fun, not a place that would terrify them from attending, knowing that there are deadly weapons in the room.  Mrs. Hickman, a seventh-grade English teacher at Blach, commented, “Weapons and schools don’t mix.”

“Personally, only because I have been around guns. I would feel more secure, but I think that most other students would feel scared.”, says Kiana.

Chances are, students who have seen or used a gun would not react strongly about arming teachers and feel would feel secure knowing that if there was a shooter, their teachers would be able to defend them. On the contrary, students who haven’t ever seen let alone use a gun might be scared to death, being aware that such a dangerous weapon is in their classroom.

A teacher’s job is to educate, not to fire a gun at someone. Mrs. Narula said, “In order to protect [our] students, [the staff] should be trained in emergency procedures and you should be active and cooperative in any drill.”

Mr. Dewberry also indicated, “If you are going to arm teachers, they would be trained teachers, not military professionals.” Trained teachers would only have a few years, or less, of experience whereas military professionals train with guns for most of their lives. Shooting a gun is not part of a teacher’s job.

When asked if she would risk her life for her students, Mrs. Hickman answered, “`Yes, I would, but not by using a gun. Using a gun doesn’t seem like a good solution.” Many teachers would definitely put themselves in danger in order to protect their students, but a gun isn’t the answer.

If a shooter knew that there were guns at a school, they probably wouldn’t dare to attack that school. The gun would be a threat to shooters, so it wouldn’t be used anyway. However, if the shooter didn’t know that the school was armed, they would still attack that school, so there is no sure method to protect a school involving guns.

Mr. Dewberry acknowledged that “After school, someone might break in and steal it but not during school hours. That is the biggest reason for teachers to not have guns, it might end up in someone’s hands for the wrong reason.” Anyone, even students, could steal the gun and use it against the school, even if it was carried in concealment.

Arming teachers with guns could be an answer to preventing school shootings but they would also lead to many more complications. Mrs. Hickman believes that “In the light of school shootings, people are desperate for a solution.” Is arming teachers the solution to school shootings or a problem maker?

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