Editorial: Should Teachers Be Armed?

A NORMAL SCHOOL DAY -- A regular school day includes learning in a safe environment. Would adding a firearm into the equation make it more safe?

Kaylee York

A NORMAL SCHOOL DAY -- A regular school day includes learning in a safe environment. Would adding a firearm into the equation make it more safe?

Kaylee York, Staff Writer

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In just three short months since 2018 began, there have been 17 school shootings in America where someone has been injured or killed. According to CNN, that averages out to be 1.5 shootings a week. The parameters that CNN counted were as follows: a shooting where at least one person was shot (not including the shooter), a shooting that occurred on school grounds (including grades K-12 and colleges/universities), gang violence was a cause, and the accidental discharge of the firearm as long as the first two requirements were met.

Even if teachers get the proper qualifications to carry a weapon on campus there is a small chance that a student could steal it as a joke, or to cause serious harm if it is not properly concealed.

People argue that they want teachers and administrators to be armed because they want schools to be “more safe”, but statistically schools are safe for the most part. Teachers have one job. They come to school just like us, and ensure that we get the education that we come to school for. They have no room for keeping a firearm in their class and away from their students.

“Putting guns in schools both acknowledges and feeds the fears that often control our lives. Statistically, schools are quite safe. We can work to make them safer in a more positive way,” stated English and philosophy teacher, Kevin Parsons.

The philosophy and ethics class held a discussion over the topic at hand. The majority of students who spoke said that teachers should not be armed, but there were some that said that teachers should be armed.

“Teachers should not have guns. A teacher in Georgia was arrested on March 1 for firing a gun in his class. I’m not saying that all teachers would shoot their gun in class, but I am saying we should take precautionary measures to make sure another instance like this does not happen again,” voiced junior Lilli Lively.

When asked his opinion, world history teacher Chris Kribs was more on both sides than just one.

“If the state mandates me to carry, then yes I will. But where do we draw the line? Who’s to say that there is an active shooter situation, and I have to leave the classroom to defend my students and the SWAT Team or the police sees me and thinks that I could be the shooter? Would I have to purchase a gun, or would the state do that for me? There’s too many questions around the whole situation.  I would much rather have more school resource officers in the school protecting the students and the teachers rather than arming the faculty. Arming the faculty should be the last resort,” explained Kribs.

Kribs also stated that he was not worried about a random person coming to the school and shooting. He was more concerned about past students coming to the school and shooting.

“Past students know when we have a class change. They know the school well, and they know where to hide. If I, as a teacher, have to use a firearm to stop them and I can see that it is a past student of mine, that’s gonna be hard for me knowing that I have to harm them to get them to stop from harming other student,” delivered Kribs.

Another issue regarding arming the teachers, is that they could use the firearm as a ‘threat’ to make the students listen to them. This would not be a huge issue, but there could be an instance where it could happen.

“I don’t think any teacher at Central would seriously threaten students. I DO fear that teachers would joke about such threats, and I believe this would negatively affect the school climate. Could that lead to an increase in school shootings as we become further desensitized to the idea of using guns to resolve conflict?” vocalized Parsons.

If you see the SRO, the dynamic of conversation is different. You know that they are armed, and that the only reason they should use that weapon is in the even of an active shooter. But you know he has it, and when you talk to them in the hallway, the conversation is short and it feels different from if you talked to your math teacher.

“I know that Deputy Soyster is a good guy, but the dynamic of the conversation is different because he has a gun on him. I don’t want that happening to students and teachers if the teachers have to carry,” concluded Kribs.

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