– Arming Teachers Pros and Cons –
Arming Teachers Pros and Cons: Teaching is said to be one of the most difficult professions in the world. That’s exactly the truth because teachers are supposed to be surrogate parents for their pupils, true friends, caretakers, and trustworthy protectors. Teaching is not just about executing lesson plans and grading homework-its about dedicating your entire life to children.
We live in troubled times. Public Mass Shootings are growing, and schools have become the most vulnerable targets. Most teachers from around the world faced the possibility of school shootings and some even witnessed these awful situations with bad consequences.
So, should public school teachers carry guns to keep themselves and students safe?
24 Pros of Arming Teachers
1. Protection of Children
Teachers can protect their students with guns in different situations. The main reason that teachers need to be armed is to protect the kids they care about.
Teachers spend their entire careers tending to the daily needs of children. When they are not allowed to carry guns, it leaves them helpless in the face of danger.
2. Taking Control
Some teachers use their guns to threaten their students and have strict control over them. Teachers usually feel in control of their classrooms.
3. Inefficient Emergency Plans
Although, schools have strict security armed teachers have the best emergency plans
Teachers can fill in the gaps in security. The one-armed teacher may not be able to defeat a shooter, however, several stand a very good chance of taking one down
4. Quick Reactions
Teachers with guns can give a quick reaction to any emergency situation. When an emergency happens, a quick reaction time is pertinent.
Lives can be lost if children are not rushed into hiding fast enough, or alarms do not sound on time. It takes time for first responders to arrive on the scene. Large amounts of damage can occur while they are in transit.
Even schools with armed security guards have limited coverage. A security guard cannot be everywhere at once. In most cases, the shooter would avoid the area where a guard is on duty.
Once an emergency is underway, it can take several minutes for the guard to arrive at the correct location.
All of these delays can result in the loss of innocent lives. A teacher can simply reach into her desk or purse and be armed within seconds.
5. Dangerous Students
Teachers can control Dangerous Students using guns in the right way. Dangerous people, other than intentional shooters, can wander into schools.
If there is a need for extra security at a specific school, guns for the teachers should be required. No employee should be fearful during their workday.
Problematic kids are still required to follow the law by attending school. These kids may be in special classes or be known to be unpredictable. Other students can be at risk if there is no one to protect them.
Weapons are not allowed in schools, however, disobedient kids may sneak them in. This leaves those that follow rules without a way to protect themselves. This is where teachers can step in when they are armed.
6. Increases the Amount of Security
Teachers armed with guns improve classroom security. Banning guns on campuses does not eliminate the actions of unlawful individuals.
Placing one or two guards in a school with 2,000 students is not going to help much. These guards can only respond to a small area of the school in a timely manner. This leaves multiple wings and floors unprotected. Innocent children are left in under-protected environments.
If the entire teaching staff is armed with guns, that puts an army against one shooter.
7. Personal Protection
Teachers also use guns for their Personal Protection
Teachers are not always on campus at the same time as everyone else. They often come early to prepare for the day and stay late to get their classroom cleaned up.
Some may even stay late for tutoring. A teacher is much more isolated and vulnerable with fewer people around. An intruder could easily target a single teacher working with a couple of students.
Personal protection should be allowed for these quiet parts of the day when few other staff is around.
8. Makes Kids Feel Safer, Less Anxiety
Children feel free to move around and perform activities when you provide a safer and secure environment. Kids cannot learn properly if they are constantly feeling anxious about safety. This negatively affects their minds, keeping them on high alert.
When teachers become armed with weapons, kids can feel more secure in their classrooms. Kids that feel safe can resume their normal daily activities with more focus. They can also find time to enjoy their friends and social activities.
9. Gives Parents Peace of Mind
If you provide a secure school environment, parents will have peace of mind. Parents send their kids off to school every day, trusting that those in charge are protecting them. Even with minimal security in place, parents have little choice but to send their kids away for the majority of the day.
Parents make great efforts to keep their children safe when they are not at school. Officials should match that effort when they are in the care of others.
Parents should be able to remain confident after dropping their children off at school every morning. When trusted teachers are well-trained to handle firearms, this is a possibility.
10. Teaches Children to Be Prepared
Armed teachers prepare their children for any type of situation. Children need to learn how to manage in the modern world.
Arming teachers shows kids that preparation has been taken to keep the building and its inhabitants safe. It shows that thought has gone into what is best for the group of people that spend their days there. We teach them to prepare for exams. They also need to learn to prepare for unsafe situations.
Kids need to understand how to be prepared for intruder issues. It is important that they understand that guns in the classroom are not a means of useless violence, but a method of defense.
Other Pros Include:
- You have someone on hand capable of stopping a shooter or other attacker.
- Much cheaper than dedicated armed security.
- Attackers don’t know who is armed and who isn’t.
- CCW holders tend to commit crimes at a lower rate than police (which is especially impressive considering the blue wall of silence), so schools that hire CCW holders will be getting more reliable staff.
- Additional scenario-specific training can enhance capability.
- Deterrence to anyone thinking of initiating an active shooter incident in the school
- Armed teachers and staff would be readily available to address threats immediately ahead of police arrival
- Law enforcement response times can be as high as 18 minutes
- Active Shooter Incidents last less than 12 minutes with the majority under 5 minutes
- Equipped to meet an active shooter with an appropriate weapon to increase the chance of success
- As the saying goes, you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight
- Most active shooters are stopped once engaged by another person
- Arming teachers provides them the ability to control their own security
- Empowering the teachers/staff to not be victims:
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24 Cons of Arming Teachers
1. Teachers cannot replace officers.
By arming teachers, we are setting up a playing field that is automatically uneven. A teacher armed with a handgun against an intruder whose intent is to murder people with an AR-15 rifle, as in the case of Stoneman Douglas, is a losing fight. Teachers with inferior equipment, no backup, and limited training will never be as good as trained officers.
2. Teachers want to teach.
Teachers joined their profession in order to do what they love: educating children. Their main priority is to nourish a learning environment, not to be an armed protector.
It is wrong to expect teachers across the nation to be okay with carrying weapons. The total majority of our beloved teachers do not want to carry guns and have told us they will quit if they are forced to carry guns.
3. Teachers will become the main targets.
Many school mass shooters have some experience with their target school and will have prior knowledge of which teachers carry guns, even if they are concealed, and will target these teachers in order to get rid of their main deterrent.
This in turn will leave the students of these teachers without their main source of protection. Many school shootings are carried out with careful planning and detail, and students can easily assume which teachers are potentially armed.
4. Armed teachers are not a deterrent to suicidal mass shooters.
The argument that gun-free zones necessitate more guns in order to deter the shooter is untrue. The Stoneman Douglas massacre was a unique instance where the shooter did not commit suicide.
Nevertheless, in many recent mass shootings, including Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Columbine, the shooters were not afraid of death.
They came prepared to die, taking as many students with them as they could. Thinking that armed teachers would deter a shooter is ludicrous and untrue.
5. Background checks aren’t perfect.
Passing a background check does not ensure a teacher is not a potential criminal. Teachers go through background checks but in rare cases, teachers turn out to be pedophiles, child abusers, and more. There is even a case where a University of Alabama in Huntsville professor shot her university colleagues.
6. Teachers will have increased responsibility and liability.
Accidents happen more often than mass shootings. Who is going to take responsibility if a gun accidentally goes off or is used by a student who somehow takes a teacher’s gun?
If a teacher decides to hide and not fight, is he liable? Would they be accused of not doing their job like those Broward Security Officers at our school? And if a teacher accidentally shoots a student? There are too many ways to “point fingers” if guns were to be given to teachers.
7. Schools already lack funding.
Public schools face a desperate lack of funding; we actually ran out of paper one week. Instead of investing in weapons, training, and insurance, why don’t we make sure classrooms have sufficient supplies and textbooks first? After all, the primary purpose of a school is to educate youth.
8. The protection of students should come first.
The safety of the students, during those crucial couple minutes that a mass shooting occurs, is by far the most important thing.
Arming educators put teachers in a dilemma: secure and protect their students or attempt to pursue and stop the shooter. This is an impossible moral dilemma to put our teachers in.
9. Guns can cause people to have an illusion of power.
Giving people guns makes them feel more powerful. Introducing guns into the class environment could completely change the classroom dynamics and can potentially change teachers’ behavior towards students and other teachers, for the worse.
10. Increased anxiety and stress clouds judgment
Firearms in the workplace increase anxiety, this is a logical conclusion. Knowing that there is a possibility of a deadly weapon in the presence of children and young adults immediately makes me nervous.
The amount of pressure a deadly weapon carries cannot be placed among the many responsibilities a teacher has, especially when they are under threat of an attack, especially when mistakes can happen so easily, and especially when we are talking about life and death.
11. Confusion in the act of a shooter is imminent
There is already so much doubt and fear in these situations, why are we increasing the presence of the object that strikes so much fear and chaos within our society? If a teacher does have to use a firearm, will they know which student is to be feared? Will the police know that this teacher is not, in fact, the shooter who has sparked such a tragedy?
12. Liability and morality
Regardless of your political views, we cannot be impulsive about the solution to gun violence. No child should fear for their lives in school and no teacher should fear for the day they have to shoot their own student. It’s a gamble to fight the possibility of what we fear with the weapons that have caused so much tragedy.
13. Student Risk
The security risk of the students is also ensured with armed teachers. Students of the armed teachers are always at risk. They may get the guns without the teacher’s permission.
The 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.
Other Cons Include:
- Offering incentives for CCW means money (less money than dedicated security but also not free).
- There is a small (but also not zero) risk of an accidental shooting or the gun being stolen. This is mitigated by the teacher either keeping the gun on their person or concealed at all times or by having the gun in a secure storage container that can’t be easily stolen at all times.
- Might not be possible based on state laws, local ordinances, or school regulations.
- The school might not want to assume the potential liability.
- Additional training costs money.
- Training armed teachers are expensive, time-consuming, and must be recurring.
- Weapons cost, range fees, ammunition, instructor fees, etc. can cost into the thousands per teacher.
- Guns could be taken away from teachers during an active shooter incident and be used against them or other staff/students.
- Teachers should be focusing on teaching, not security.
- Armed Teachers and Staff could be mistaken for the active shooter suspect during an incident as they are not readily identifiable by law enforcement.
- A teacher’s job is to teach.
One of the many ideas that we can consider is the pros and cons of armed teachers in the classroom to help protect our current and future children from violence in what is supposed to be a safe place.
It’s imperative we remember that our goal is still the same whether you’re for or against this idea.
Too much is at risk of making this issue a political one. Lives are at stake and we have to come up with a workable solution.