By Angie Burkhart |Staff Writer|
The problem with teachers bearing arms is that we do not have the ability to predict whether extensive training will prepare teachers to switch between teaching to killing in a matter of seconds.
With repeated acts of gun violence and intrusions within schools over the years, some districts and teachers have decided to take responsibility into their own hands.
“Legally gun owning adults are now allowed to carry guns in public schools in more than two dozen states, from kindergarten classrooms to high school hallways,” stated author Kate Murphy in her ABC News article ‘F’ is for Firearm: More Teachers Authorized to Carry Weapons in Classroom.
Although I support the right to bear arms, I believe we step on entirely new turf when we consider allowing teachers to bring them into classrooms.
For one, it gives teachers, who are hired to educate, the responsibility of public safety which is not what they signed up for or what they are qualified for.
“Suggesting that by providing teachers, principals, custodians, or other school staff with 8, 16, 40, or even 60 hours of firearms training in firing, handling, and holstering a gun somehow makes a non-law enforcement officer qualified to provide public safety services, is an insult to our highly trained police professionals and a high-risk to the safety of students, teachers, and other school staff,” stated President of National School Safety and Security Services, Kenneth S. Trump in response to this discussion found on schoolsecurity.org.
“After working in the field of education within the past few months, I do not believe teachers should be able to carry firearms. The educator does not have the same training as someone in law enforcement and thus they are not qualified to ensure public safety,” said CSUSB alumni and current teacher, Jacob Szerlip.
What is far more concerning to me is the liability I believe it poses on the school districts and teachers. It may do more harm than good considering it increases the possibility of serious accidental injuries.
Idaho State University serves as one example considering “a concealed handgun fired at the Physical Science Complex, shooting the instructor with the gun in the foot,” stated author Lewis Diuguid, in his Kansas City Star article Missouri Lawmakers Should Pay Attention to Accidental Shooting on Idaho Campus Ahead of Veto Session Next Week.
This is just one example in which we should concern ourselves with liability issues such as insurance policies and potential lawsuits.
Those in support of arming teachers argue that this is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of students and staff in the event of a crisis.
“A school should be a safe haven where students can learn and grow, and right now, arming teachers is the only practical solution,” stated author Steve Siebold in his Huffington Post article Every Teacher in America Should have a Gun.
I believe it is not arming teachers that is the practical solution, but instead increasing security through designated police enforcement officers on campus, and strengthening drills in the event of intruders.
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