Should Teachers be Armed in the Classrooms?

By Desiree Santiago

Mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February sparked a national conversation about how to secure schools from these atrocities. Following the shooting President Donald Trump proposed to arm teachers as a way to protect students. Many voiced their support of his proposition while others weren’t so sure.

On Feb. 14, 2018, a mass shooting took place at the high school in Parkland, Florida. According to the White House, 17 people were killed and at least 14 others were injured. Subsequently, Florida Senate then proposed SPB 7026 instituting the Florida Sheriff’s Marshal Program to arm teachers and faculty. The bill was largely opposed by educators and Floridians.

School shootings in the United States have become an epidemic and some schools around the nation have since employed their own means of protection. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer brought it to Trump’s attention that 18 school shootings have already taken place within the first two months of this year, according to the U.S. Senate’s website.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, which took place on Feb. 23, 2018, Trump stated, “Why do we protect our airports, and our banks, our government buildings but not our schools? It’s time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers.”

Trump made it clear that he doesn’t want to arm every teacher; he wants to arm teachers who are more adept. “I don’t want a person that’s never handled a gun that wouldn’t know what a gun looks like to be armed. But out of your teaching population…you have 10 percent, 20 percent of very gun-adept people—military people, law enforcement people, they teach, they teach,” Trump said.

College of Southern Nevada’s social science Professor Samuel Sarri disagrees with Trump’s proposal to arm teachers. Sarri stated, “Trump’s notion, or impulsive argument, towards arming teachers is inherently absurd, false, invalid and non-workable. The good function of a teacher is to effectively educate our kids not to play the role of a police officer. Besides, arming teachers will divert teachers’ fundamental educational role, severely discomfort learners and shall engender the high risk of both more teachers and school children being killed.”

Another social science Professor at CSN Jill Acree shared similar views to that of Sarri. When asked if she thought arming teachers was a good idea, she said, “No, I don’t.” She said, “Armed teachers, like armed students or staff or anyone else, may be tempted to use their weapons inappropriately. Accidental charges could occur and personal conflicts could escalate quickly with deadly results.”

Some CSN students have expressed similar views as their fellow professors.

CSN student Ralph Gallo said, “I think arming teachers with guns is unnecessary. The fact that teachers will be required to carry a weapon for safety isn’t a guarantee that the children or anyone in the school will be safe. Teachers are there to teach, not be heroes.”

Initially, CSN student Andie Veronica Duggal thought the idea of arming teachers sounded like a good idea but later articulated she was against it. Duggal claimed that, “I’ve had some not too great teachers in the past and I would never want them to have a gun. Of course we want to always think that our teachers would take a bullet for their students and do whatever possible needed to protect them. We cannot expect that out of every teacher though.”

However, CSN student Taylor Dacquisto considered arming teachers to be a good idea. He also expressed that everyone should be made aware that there are armed teachers on campus. It should be known. Dacquisto said, “I think there are so many school shootings because these people [assailants] know it’s illegal to have a gun on school property so it’s easy to kill a bunch of people without being shot at.”

On CSN’s Police Department’s website an active-shooter video and response plan is available for students and faculty to view https://www.csn.edu/active-shooter-community-response-plan. Fortunately CSN’s campuses are very safe and no incidents such as the shooting in Parkland have taken place on our campuses but this information is important to know.

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