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Arming teachers won’t lead to safer schools

Arming teachers won’t lead to safer schools

Arming teachers won’t lead to safer schools
March 08
00:24 2018

In a recent talk with school shooting survivors, President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers as a solution to these tragedies facing our nation.

Suggesting a hypothetical armament of 20 percent of school teachers as a solution to the short duration of school shootings, Trump claimed the militarization of ruler-wielding educators would put a short and snappy end to these deranged madmen.

With shooting after shooting, smear campaign after smear campaign, it’s no wonder so many question the motives of our lawmakers and regulators.

But why do we actually question whether or not teachers even should be armed and trained to prevent these tragedies when there are others trained specifically for that purpose?

Assuming Trump’s 20 percent suggestion, that would mean 640,00 teachers out of the 3.2 million full-time public school teachers across the U.S. (as of fall 2017) would be equipped with a gun. According to a Washington Post article posted in February, let’s say that it costs $100 per teacher to provide the proper education over gun safety and usage — that would be $64 million dollars (at least) alone on training.

When most teachers struggle to arm their classes with necessary teaching tools like pens, notepads and even quality desks, how can anyone justify spending money on guns, training and ammunition?

Teachers are not police officers. When students declare an education major in college, they do so to educate — not to be a part-time SWAT officer. Teachers enter their career out of a love for children and not a love for shooting. The idea that teachers should be armed and ready to protect their school — let alone their classroom — is completely unrealistic.

One can only imagine the amount of stress and anxiety these teachers undergo when an active shooter is right down the hall. Suggesting they should be able to calmly inform students of the situation, turn off all lights, cover the windows, block doorway, hide students and then try to fight off a shooter themselves is asking too much.

In this case, fighting back is the absolute last resort, according to ready.gov, a national service campaign for disaster preparation. UNT Police and the Office of Emergency Management both offer guidelines on what to do in an emergency shooter situation, and fighting back is the last thing you should do, behind getting out and hiding.

When looking at guns in Texas, the state already allows certain teachers in schools to carry guns and allows concealed carry on college campuses. It’s a very small portion of teachers, but an estimated 100 armed Texas school teachers is drastically different than the approximately 640,000 teachers who would be armed.

Why would we want to spend money we already don’t have on guns, ammunition and training for teachers when we could very easily use that money for educational purposes or more officers trained in protecting people in tragic situations?

Police officers, firefighters and emergency responders are trained to fight back in these circumstances. Teachers and professors are not.

Let’s use this money to be allocated for training and arming teachers and put it to better use. Let’s actually give teachers and schools the resources to give their students the best education they can. Let’s invest in other protective devices that can shield students from bullets. Let’s hire more police officers and not add another required duty on teacher’s heavy shoulders.

Let teachers worry about educating the next generation, not about having to defend them as well.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

About Author

Nina Quatrino

Nina Quatrino

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1 Comment

  1. Hoss
    Hoss March 28, 20:57

    You obviously do not own a gun. Go to a shooting range and learn to shoot a pistol. Learning to shoot a hand gun will change your mind on this issue.The cost is irrelevant. School districts waste money on athletic stadiums and other facilities. Your poorly informed on the value of a gun in the possession of a teacher.

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