STAFF ED: arming teachers for school protection


Audrey Helm, Editor-In-Chief

Two weeks ago, we went over the procedures in place in case someone who poses an imminent danger gets into the school. We practiced locking the doors, turning the lights off, and huddling in a corner least accessible by doors or windows, and waiting.

If an active shooter ever gets into the school, there is little to nothing we can do to defend ourselves. There are those who believe that teachers should be permitted or perhaps governmentally mandated to carry firearms with them so that they can  protect their students against similarly armed threats. More guns, especially when they are in the hands of teachers, are not the answer.

A teacher’s job is to maintain a healthy and beneficial learning environment for their students, not to be prepared to act in the place of a trained law enforcement officer. Teachers must build a relationship of trust between them and their students, with the acknowledgment that it will never be a truly equal relationship due to the power imbalance implied by any kind of teacher-student relationship. Giving the teacher a gun tilts the scales even further in the teacher’s favor and upsets that delicate trust.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee of the type of training that teachers would receive. An untrained, terrified teacher with a gun is just as much of a threat to students as someone who intends to kill with the gun they have. Even if training every teacher in the district were somehow in the budget, expecting teachers to learn how to kill people puts far too much pressure on them, and could result in them being blamed for any casualties in the event of a school shooting.

Additionally, as previous mass shootings have proven, our current gun legislation fails to prevent guns from falling into the hands of those who would use guns to harm others.

We, as The Warrior Ledger staff, don’t believe that the country would be any better when placing guns in the hands of people who work with children all day.

Giving teachers guns addresses a symptom of a larger problem while ignoring the existence of that overarching issue: there are too many guns in America, and too many ways for people to get a hold of one.

We acknowledge that there is no perfect way to halt school shootings, but there is a better way: gun control. Limiting the number of guns in our society limits the chances of someone who will use one to do harm getting their hands on one.

Instead of passing laws that give too much responsibility to teachers, we need to pass laws that demand stricter background checks and safe storage of firearms. These are changes that will actually curb the epidemic of gun violence instead of exacerbating the problem.