A Gun Or A Piece Of Chalk: Is Giving Guns To Teachers The Answer?

1414 words - 6 pages

A Gun Or a Piece of Chalk: Is Giving Weapons To Teachers The Answer?
It seems as though every time someone turns on the television or reads the newspaper, there is a new report of a school shooting in America. In light of these recent shootings, there has been an influx of public uproar about the things the country needs to do to prevent the massacres from happening again. Discussions about the best way to prevent future incidents have gone past simple public debate and have headed to congress in order to change the way things are done nationwide. The discussions have ranged from whether or not to place metal detectors in the front of every entrance to whether teachers should carry weapons ...view middle of the document...

An article written by Julia Lawrence, states that of the 50 million children who went to school this year, only 17 of them were killed because of gun violence. Even a bigger indication of how rare these events are, the article reads, “the chances of a student being harmed or killed over the course of a school day is less than one in a million” (Lawrence). However, the general overreaction in light of these recent events means that people who have children will act on that reaction rather than the correct thing to do.
Some people believe that the correct response to these tragedies is to arm the teachers who populate the school. The general consensus is that by arming a few teachers randomly in the school who volunteer to carry, then if an armed gunman comes into the school, there is someone in the school who can ward them off. Programs designed to teach them how to use these weapons are generally implemented into districts where guns are allowed to be carried. However, with not much legislation on carrying guns, there are no standards as to how many hours are necessary or even the material covered (Buck, Drake, Yurvati, 2013, pg. 3-4). Thus, as long as teachers have a concealed carry license and approval from the board, there is no way of knowing how much training they really possess. Many schools who now allow teachers to possess weapons, opt for it because police may be too far away or they do not have the funds to hire an active officer or private security guard. The problem with arming teachers is that the training given to these teachers is no more than the training given to a normal citizen obtaining a concealed carry license (Grossman and Toppo). The main problem with this is that these teachers are no more trained to handle these situations than any person with a gun permit. These teachers are trusted in the schools to protect the children without any true situational training. Police officers, when responding to situations, have an average of 761 hours spent in the classroom and most also have an additional field component which is an average of 453 hours backing them up when they go into situations (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Handing a teacher a weapon is no substitute for a police officer who has been trained and has experience dealing with the stresses of these situations.
Placing a gun in a school which does not need to be there, poses a threat beyond the justification of protecting the students. When a gun is present, there is an added element of tension to any situation. When a gun is in the hands of a person, they have a bigger inclination to turn a low level incident into something much worse (Buck, Drake, Yurvati, 2013, pg. 3-4). In a Baltimore public school, a teacher and student got into a brawl in the hallway. This fight happened after the student threw something at the teacher during a test. The teacher screamed “‘I’ll kill you in here’” (Jones). The teacher ended up getting on leave and the student charged with...

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