Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Arming teachers is a bad and risky idea

Arming teachers is a bad and risky idea

Throughout last week, Donald Trump tested the waters, even presenting the idea at his "listening session" with parents and students-including some affected by the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Ivanka Trump said on Sunday that her father's proposal of placing firearms in the hands of highly trained teachers is an option worth debating.

"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, that could very well end the attack very quickly", Trump said.

John Oliver discussed Donald Trump's reaction to the Parkland shooting, criticizing his proposed plan to arm teachers and how he chose to share it with others. When you get into the school, you'll have two layers of defense. Will a teacher be better able to avoid hitting a student?

It's not until she cocks what Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry once described as "the most powerful handgun in the world" with a simple click that the teacher finally looks up.

This raised the question of how much training would be required of teachers to adequately handle carrying a firearm on school grounds.

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Nearly two weeks after the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Fla., debates over how best to ensure school safety rage on. Teachers pay an average of $500 a year out of pocket on school supplies. School lockdowns for active shooter situations typically involve turning off the lights and corralling kids into a corner of the room, with a teacher working to keep them quiet and calm. Just a few minutes before reading this I had been speaking to one of my lecturers in her office and the news got me thinking, what if teachers were armed with guns at my university? "That is total nonsense", said another resident.

I've read both sides of the funding argument, and I fully believe if the government wanted to fund arming teachers, they should and would find a way to do it. "That sounds horrific to me". Arming teachers sends the wrong message, she said.

Is the best way to prevent school shootings really to arm teachers with guns? Let the teachers do their job while the people who trained for these situations come into buildings and provide security.

"Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence". "Teachers are here to teach".

It is hard to address the question of whether, in the moment of a school shooting, the presence of an armed teacher is preferable to an unarmed one.

"One of the biggest things schools can do is to up their game on threat assessment protocols and rumor control", Stephens said, "and getting to know the students, letting them know why it's in their self-interest to report those things - rather than adding another layer of target-hardening". One that has sparked controversy is the arming of teachers. They believe these responses could impede their ability to accurately fire and could expose themselves and bystanders to the risk of being shot. As racism is apparent in schools, teachers may use their gun if an individual of colour "acts out' - something that happens frequently and may be used to defend "not feeling safe' and pulling the trigger".

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