School shootings are becoming a common occurrence in America. After all, it isn’t very difficult for someone to acquire a gun. Every shooting that takes place sparks a debate on gun control, a debate that often fades into the darkness, forgotten about until the next shooting transpires. However, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) has started conversations that have not ended and has resulted in newly proposed solutions.
In response to the recent shooting at MSD, President Donald Trump has proposed that to prevent school shootings, teachers should be armed on campus. This has created a lot of controversy and of course lots of jokes, attempting to make light of the dark situation and leaving students with mixed feelings.
“I think it is both funny and not,” sophomore Amelia Wesley said. “It is obviously meant to be humorous, but [arming teachers] is not a joke.”
“It is obviously meant to be humorous, but [arming teachers] is not a joke.”
One of the hopes of arming teachers on school campuses is that it will help students feel safe and protected while attending school. The idea behind arming teachers is that it will give educators the opportunity to protect students in the event of a shooting or other emergency situation. When asked, however, all of the 30 students surveyed said that arming their teachers wouldn’t make them feel safe, just the opposite.
“If cops can’t be trusted to not kill unarmed civilians, then why would we trust teachers?” Wesley said. “Even if they go through basic training.”
If implemented, teachers that choose to carry a firearm would undergo a training program that would instruct them on how to properly operate a gun. However, the fact is, no amount of training can properly prepare a teacher to go up against an ArmaLite rifle (AR), especially when surrounded by the chaos of terrified students in search of safety.
However, the fact is, no amount of training can properly prepare a teacher to go up against an ArmaLite rifle (AR), especially when surrounded by the chaos of terrified students in search of safety.
Even if teachers were trained on how to operate a firearm, there are many dangers that come with having them on campus. Why spend so much money on something that would increase a student’s access to guns? Instead of giving teachers a weapon that could possibly end up in the wrong hands, put the weapons in the hands of trained officials whose only job is to be concerned with the security of the school.
“I think more guns on campus would be a solution if you had them with authorized police officers,” math teacher Darryl Schultz said.
Even without looking at the logistics of giving teachers guns, being armed just isn’t something that educators signed up for when taking the job. Whether teachers went to school for education or not, most started educating with the intent to teach, nurture and help their students grow.
Whether teachers went to school for education or not, most started educating with the intent to teach, nurture and help their students grow.
“I feel that teachers have enough responsibilities in terms of disseminating our curriculum to our students,” English teacher Fallan Patterson said. “Giving us another responsibility for something we didn’t sign up for isn’t going to be something that a lot of teachers would want to stay in the profession to do.”
Instead of purchasing weapons for teachers, funding should go towards increasing security and the training they participate in. Fighting guns with more guns may be an efficient battle strategy for soldiers, but the students and children did not sign up to fight this war. Putting guns into holsters on teachers’ hips is the equivalent of fighting fire with fire and will not solve any problems.
Photo courtesy of Lariat design team