No, Teachers Should Not Be Armed

Janice Hanson, Reporter

Gun rights have always been a controversial subject in American politics, dating all the way back to the creation of the Constitution. More recently, Americans have debated over school districts arming their teachers. The shooting at Columbine High School was a tragedy and became a blueprint for shooters across the country. The increase in attacks makes the United States a scary place for children, but adding more guns to the equation will not cause the problem to stop. With the exception of trained police officers, arms should not be allowed on school campuses. The appeal is understandable. A parents’ first instinct is to protect their child, especially in precarious situations. Giving teachers arms may seem like another way to keep kids safe, but it actually opens doors to additional dangers like unstable teachers and hostile children. The solution is not putting loaded weapons in schools.

“I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of teachers in class to carry weapons.”
— English II Teacher Jenn Moore

The proposed idea is to allow willing teachers to carry concealed weapons during school hours. A poll taken Mrs. McGhee’s academic period revealed that 50% of students would feel safer if their teachers were armed. Within this 50%, a majority only felt safe with a specific teacher. While some teachers may be stable and educated with a firearm, there is no guarantee that schools will give sufficient background and mental health checks. The same students that felt safe with certain teachers said they would feel extremely unsafe with any other teacher. There is no point in implementing these policies if students do not feel safer than before.

With the perfect staff, arming teachers might be a good idea, but politicians are underestimating just how cunning students can be. Students, even more so than teachers struggle from mental health issues. In a 2015 survey by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 30% of students claimed to have stress issues, 22% have anxiety, and 14% have depression. High school students are very likely to struggle with these issues, and according to an article by npr.org. By putting more weapons into a school setting, students are likely to attempt to steal them. An article by Dr. Ken Shore on educationworld.com states that children steal from teachers often and for varying reasons. It wouldn’t be crazy to assume that a student with poor mental health might attempt to steal a weapon from their teacher. This threat can be prevented all together by keeping weapons out of the classroom.

America’s goal right now is to make students feel safe, especially after the massacres seen recently, like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. There have been countless speeches and protests, asking the federal government to do something about all of the horrors. The nation agrees that something must be done, but instead of fighting fire with fire, America needs healing solutions. Gun violence can be fought at the source with mental health professionals. At the root of the issue, the debate isn’t over guns versus no guns, it’s about how to make students feel safe.  With the amount of loose strings attached to this proposal, it’s obvious that one would have doubt in its logic. The safety of the students should not be dependent on a risky gamble.

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