Safety in schools has become a huge issue. There seems to be no foolproof way to secure schools from danger. Most schools have an emergency protocol when it comes to intruder concerns. These plans, however, often do not cover every scenarios. Many school buildings are not designed for defense. Older school buildings often have open courtyards and a large number of entrance points. Locking doors and hiding does not always work, either. There is also the question of what to do about windows that do not resist bullets, as well. Arming teachers is just one solution that does not work in every perceived situation.
In a perfect world, arming teachers would add a significant amount of protection in the school environment. Unfortunately, there are many risks associated with this idea. There are also moral objections. There is no way to satisfy school officials, parents, and the general public. Students may be put at risk of injury or death in the event of accidents, as well. Even with proper training a teacher with a gun may not be able to take out a shooter.
There are too many negative aspects of arming teachers. Attempting to push the issue may cause more issues than it solves. When it comes to classrooms, many people are against bringing items in that represent violence. Exposing kids to guns on a daily basis is not what school is for. Here are the 10 reasons why teachers should not be armed with guns.
Every new policy in a school costs money. Security measures are some of the most expensive changes that schools have had to endure in recent years. Cameras, heavy door locks, and building renovations are just some of the costs that have come about as a result of recent school shootings. Arming teachers would be a massive expense. Even if just a few teachers in each school become armed, the cost would take away from learning tools.
Arming teachers is not only a question of equipment. Extensive background checks and training must be applied to each person that is considered for the program. A ban on personal weapons would, most likely, still apply. This means that each armed teacher would have to be issued a district approved weapon. These would have to be regularly maintenance, as well. Since the weapons need to be kept on campus, proper storage also has to be purchased.
Once teachers are trained and armed, their training may require annual renewals. They must also be tested regularly. They have to be able to maintain knowledge and ability over the course of their career. All of this incurs costs. Most schools are already over budget when it comes to their needs for each school years. Students in many districts suffer from lack of supplies and proper building updates. Learning is already at an all-time low, due to budget cuts for necessary programs.
Students of the armed teachers are always at risk. They may get the guns without teacher’s permissionThe same risks that apply to a gun in the home, apply to guns in schools. Teachers with a gun must be able to access the weapon quickly, while still keeping it away from the kids. Kids are naturally curious. Some may not adhere to the rules, and try to gain access to the weapon. If the gun is secured enough to keep the kids away, it may be too difficult for teachers to reach it quickly.
Elementary school kids are at risk of accidentally shooting themselves or their peers. Teenage students may attempt to steal the weapon for themselves. The school is expected to maintain liability for enrolled students. There is the possibility of some expensive and complicated lawsuits if students get hurt. Teachers would also be expected to use the gun in appropriate emergency situations. A gun used inappropriately, even if by accident, could also cause liability issues.
Safety of students is the reason for consideration of armed teachers. Ironically, the safety of the students is also the reason for opposing the idea. There is no way to guarantee that children are completely safe from contact with the weapons. In the confusion of an emergency, a student may be accidentally shot, as well.
Some of the disagreements that revolve around arming teachers stem from moral ideologies. Some people oppose violence on all levels, refusing to own weapons. Others simply think that exposing kids to guns is improper, as it may breed violent tendencies. There is no way to appease every parent, much less every individual in the general population. Politicians tread lightly when it comes to this sensitive issue, as it could easily cause a reduction of votes.
Moral issues cause some of the biggest disagreements in law making. Officials have to look at the possible fallout of arming teachers. Chaos could easily ensue. Parents may pull their kids from the armed schools, demanding that they be transferred elsewhere. This brings the possibility of uneven enrollment and a burden on some school populations. Families must be given the choice to have their kids in a school that does not oppose their moral values.
Moral differences often result in protests. Protests would be disruptive to the school environment, therefore, it is best to avoid them. Protests can also turn violent, endangering students. Any change in security has to fit the needs of the entire student body. Gun use is surrounded by too many moral complications.
7Handguns are Inefficient
When there is talk about arming teachers, the plan involves easy to maneuver handguns. These have limited abilities. A school shooting may involve large assault weapons. An entire classroom could be taken out before the teacher even gets one shot. A school shooter is likely to come in and start shooting very quickly. If a teacher happens to hear them coming, they may be able to get the handgun out in time. The teacher, then, would have to remain in plain sight of the shooter to get an accurate shot. The teacher is likely to be shot before they can do much. The sight of a handgun may anger the intruder more than it deters them, causing them to hurt more students.
Accurate handgun use also takes a lot of practice. Unless the school keeps up with the teacher’s training schedule on a regular basis, a lack of ability may be present. Professions that require regular gun use, also come with the responsibility of practicing on a regular basis. Policemen and military personnel frequent the gun range to keep their skills up to par. one training class and passing of a test are not enough to guarantee that a teacher could pull of a successful shot.
6Makes them a Target
Teachers are already living with the fear of a shooter entering their classroom. Guns can easily add to the possibility of teachers getting shot. If shooters are aware that teachers are armed, they may make it a point to shoot them first. It may not even be school shooters that target the teachers. Any type of intruder with criminal intentions may make a beeline for the teacher’s gun, or take their life.
Students with ill intentions could also target their teachers. Threats may be made until the teacher hands over the gun. Unfortunately, there are many dangerous people in the world, and it is impossible to always know when they are near. Many teachers stay after hours, leaving them in a more vulnerable position. There are less people around during this time of the day.
The plans to arm teachers involve the arming of a portion of teachers on each campus. School shooters would not know which ones were armed, and which ones were not. All of the teachers would be a target, as the shooter may fear retaliation in every classroom. An unarmed teacher seen as a target puts them in extreme danger, with no available protection.
Teachers are human too. They may have issues that the school district knows nothing about. Just like any employee, teachers can have mental illness. This is not a necessarily a precursor to violence, however, there could be some complications that lead up to an outburst. A person that is near a breaking point may not do well with a gun in their hands. They may not ever have the intention of hurting anyone, however. An episode may change their mindset. Individuals with suicidal intentions may use the weapon for self-harm.
The more realistic problem is that of a severely deranged individual. Though it is not the norm, there are times when teachers overstepped the boundaries of safety. Seemingly good teachers have done unspeakable things. Sexual relationships with students are one of these actions. There are, undoubtedly, some bad seeds in the teaching population. If these teachers are overlooked, a gun could be placed in the wrong hands. It would be incredibly tragic to see a class gunned down by their own teacher.
Some teachers may also be dishonest. This may lead to theft of the firearm. They may sell it illegally, or keep it for their own use. These types of individual should not be teaching, in the first place. Sometimes people, however, manage to hide their dishonesty from potential employers. Parents are already trusting their kids to complete strangers every day. This is hard enough, without adding firearms to the equation.
Proper gun training is a lengthy and expensive process. There is not guarantee that each teacher is going to do well at this endeavor. Many teachers have never even held a firearm. Each teacher would have to complete a basic training and safety class, just to start out. A written and exam and skill test would help to prove they have been successful. One class, however, may not be enough. Skilled shooters need constant training. The cost, alone, would make this incredibly difficult. The time requirements to perfect the skill of shooting may not fit in with everyone’s schedule.
There is also a big difference between shooting for practice and shooting under pressure. It takes a lot of practice and self-control to handle a weapon when you are scared. During an emergency some people do not think very clearly. Many hours of repetition are necessary to make a skill second nature. Those that commit to this much practice are more likely to be productive when facing a shooter. The general population is not prepared to think clearly and aim efficiently during a life or death situation.
Training is expensive and time consuming. The schedules of teachers are already too busy. They often take work home with them and do not earn an amount to match their efforts. Now some lawmakers want to add weapons training to their list of responsibilities. Unless it can be fit into the work day, this is not a feasible option. Our teacher already take on more than they get paid to do.
There is a lot of fear that surrounds the presence of guns. This has no place in a classroom. Teachers may be required to handle guns when they are not comfortable with them. Some argue that the handling of guns is soon to be a job requirement for teachers. This may keep some individuals from choosing the profession. It is unfair to ask people with a true fear of guns to learn to shoot. Teachers join this profession because they love children, not to train as military personnel.
The anxiety of having to use the gun or being shot by an intruder is bound to be a reality. Teachers know that being armed puts them at greater risk of being a target. It also gives them the responsibility to put themselves in harm’s way if a school shooter makes an appearance. Teachers may not be prepared for this. Security, police officers, and military make the choice to face enemies head on. Teachers do not sign up for the job to train for battle. They simply want to teach. Forcing them to carry guns, turns them into something they are not. The fear of this reality may result in a loss of good teachers.
Students are also afraid of guns, in some cases. They may be uncomfortable in class, knowing that a firearm is only a few feet away. The stress of intruder drills, and recent news stories, adds to this fear. Kids know what guns are capable of. In case of an emergency, kids would have to witness their teacher in a violent role.
2Stress from the Responsibility
Teachers take on a lot of responsibility that is not necessarily a part of the job. They care for children of many different backgrounds. Students often come in with problems, and teachers must act like parents, counselors, and tutors. They do most of this out of the kindness of their hearts. Teachers, however, are some of the most stressed out individuals in the community. They worry about their kids, even on their off days. For teachers, adding guns to their repertoire is asking them to take on even more stress. This new feature would require them to feel responsible for the lives of every student. Many already feel this way, however, wielding a firearm would make it more apparent.
Teachers may feel the pressure to be able to take down a school shooter. A teacher may feel that the students expect complete protection because there is a gun involved. The possibility of letting them down is high, as a confrontation could go very wrong. Teachers may feel extra stress when they are expected to play a part in defending the classroom with a weapon. Most would step in if a school shooter approached the kids, however, arming them reinforces this possibility.
The stress of perfecting a new skill is also a part of arming teachers. Teachers want to do their best to take care of their students. They put their heart into the efforts they make for their classes. This means they would prefer to put maximum effort into learning to protect them. There is only a small possibility of defeating a school shooter with a handgun, yet a teacher would want to learn to shoot well. The high expectations of themselves can cause some serious stress. Instead of working on lesson plans, they would have to spend more time training to shoot well.
1Classroom Environment and Security Issues
Most people have an idealistic view of what a classroom should look like. These visions involve things like chalkboards, crayons, and brightly decorated walls. It is hard for people to get used to the idea of guns in this picture. Kids and guns are simply not meant to be together. Parents expect for classrooms to be kid friendly, and free of violence. The actions of a few individuals, however, have changed this. Kid’s days now involve harsh realities, like intruder drills. This makes the classroom environment uncomfortable for many. Adding guns could make this even worse.
Teachers are seen as kind, and gentle individuals. It is confusing to imagine those carrying guns and shooting intruders. The entire perception of teachers changes when we put weapons in their hands. Supporters of armed teachers think this is a good change. It is hard to understand why taking innocence out of the classroom is beneficial to children. Children need to be in an environment that promotes learning, kindness, and positive activities. A gun in the classroom may negate many of the things we are trying to enforce. Times are changing, and adjustments need to be made. Arming teachers, however, may be going too far. Kids need some measure of stability. The classroom is a constant in their daily lives.
Security of the school may be put at risk in other ways, if guns are known to be on campus. Schools would then be the target of robberies and vandalism. Criminals seeking weapons would know that they could be found on certain campuses. Teachers may show up one morning to find the weapons stolen. This puts more weapons in the hands of criminals. This could be dangerous to students if an attempted robbery takes place during school hours. When a school becomes a host for weapons, it can cause a serious security issue, putting many people in danger.
The arming of teachers is an extremely controversial topic. When something elicits this much debate, it is doubtful that it can be successful in schools. Arming teachers brings up moral issues for some. It is not acceptable to force weaponry on someone who is against it. When teachers are not given a choice, they may resign from their jobs. There are already shortages of teachers in some areas. Teachers with guns may not be accepted across the country. Some states are more prone to an agreeable population than others. These differences prove that debate is still high over arming teachers. Protests could get ugly, putting students in harm’s way. People do not think clearly when they are emotionally charged.
One of the biggest obstacles to arming teachers is the cost. More cost efficient security measures could help schools stay on budget. Often, there is not enough money to go around for school necessities. Many districts do without supplies, building upgrades, and student programs. These items would be even further out of reach if money for training and weapons became the requirement. School shootings cause fear, however, the sight of guns in a classroom may do the same thing. Students are used to having a calm and stable classroom. Guns on campus may change this. Traditional learning environments are becoming a thing of the past.
Teachers deserve to do their jobs without the fear of a weapon getting in the way. Some teachers, and students, are afraid of guns. The introduction of guns in to the classroom can only make the situation worse. Security can be a big issue when guns are present in a building. Robberies are more likely when there are weapons to be stolen. The risk to students, training realities, and danger to teachers should be enough reasons to support the ban on armed teachers.