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The debate on arming teachers, or allowing for legislation that allows teachers to carry concealed weapons on school grounds, always comes to life after a mass shooting has happened in a school. Some people feel that allowing teachers to carry weapons to school will help prevent mass shootings and boost security in schools. While the debate continues, some states have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools. Texas, Utah, and South Dakota are some states that allow teachers with authorization to carry concealed weapons in school. On one side of the debate are legislators and politicians who push for teachers to be allowed to carry weapons. On the other side, teachers and parents are clearly against the idea of more guns in school. Professors from the University of Texas resigned because the institution allowed guns on campus (Rogers et al., 2018). Teachers should not carry guns because armed teachers are not a deterrent for school shootings, and arming teachers will lead to more fatalities, accidents, and fear.
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Armed Teachers are Not a Deterrent to School Shootings
Teachers should not carry guns because armed teachers are not a deterrent to school shootings. In the past, many mass shootings have been carried out by people who do not fear death. These shooters often end up committing suicide after they have killed and injured as many students as possible. The shooters need a few seconds to complete their mission, and an armed teacher is not enough to stop them from carrying on with their plans (Rajan & Branas, 2018). Instead of deterring shooters, armed teachers will place a target on their backs. Many school shooters are either students or former students and may know which teachers carry concealed weapons. The shooters will first look for the teachers with weapons to eliminate them so they can continue their wicked plans in peace. Arming teachers places them in more harm than they would be in normally. Also, the students of an armed teacher would have a larger target on their backs as the shooter tries to eliminate their teacher.
Arming Teachers leads to more Fatalities, Accidents, and Fear
Teachers should also not carry guns because this will lead to more fatalities, accidents, and fear in the school. Having teachers carry weapons increases the accessibility of said weapons in a school. As a result, teachers, staff, and students with mental issues can easily access guns and either commit suicide or shoot other people. The risk of suicide and homicide will be more than the risk of a mass shooting if teachers are asked to carry weapons (DeMitchell & Rath, 2019). Arming teachers also increases their liability and responsibility. This means that teachers will be held responsible if a gun they carry goes off by accident or is taken by a student. Teachers might also be liable if a mass shooting happens and they hide instead of confronting the shooter, which will be unfair to them because they lack sufficient combat training. Arming teachers will not deter mass shootings and make students feel safe. Shamserad et al. (2021) state that female students and students of color feel less safe in a school where teachers are armed, affecting the learning climate.
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Arming Teachers does not boost Security
One argument for arming teachers is that this act will boost security in schools. However, this argument is full of holes because of several reasons. First, most teachers with weapons would be required to lock them in safe places to avoid the weapons being accessed by students or unauthorized staff. In case of an attack, the teacher might take a long time or be unable to retrieve the weapon; therefore, the gun will not serve its purpose. Also, since most shooters are former or current students, they might know where the weapons are and get to them first. This might work to the shooter’s advantage since extra guns mean extra weapons and ammunition to complete their inhumane missions. Second, teachers are not trained to provide security and cannot be expected to act as security personnel (Weiler et al., 2018). When faced with a life or death situation, the teachers will choose to flee instead of fight and, therefore, cannot provide the expected security to the students.
In conclusion, arming teachers cannot be a deterrent to school shootings. This is because most shooters are suicidal and are not afraid to die as long as they harm and kill as many people as possible. Also, teachers will become the first targets of the shooters and will not provide security to their students. Most mass shootings happen in a matter of seconds; this is enough time for many casualties for a suicidal shooter. Arming teachers will also lead to more accidents, fatalities, and fear. Students, staff, and teachers with mental issues can access guns more easily and commit suicide or homicide. Also, arming teachers places extra responsibility and liability on them when accidents happen, or they lose their weapons in school. One argument for arming teachers is that this will boost security in schools. However, this argument cannot stand because teachers lack the military training to approach a shooter. In addition, when guns are locked in safe places, the teachers cannot access them in time to stop the shooter.
- DeMitchell, T. A., & Rath, C. C. (2019). Armed and Dangerous-Teachers: A Policy Response to Security in Our Public Schools. BYU Educ. & LJ, 63.
- Rajan, S., & Branas, C. C. (2018). Arming schoolteachers: What do we know? Where do we go from here?. American Journal of Public Health, 108(7), 860-862.
- Rogers, M., Lara Ovares, E. A., Ogunleye, O. O., Twyman, T., Akkus, C., Patel, K., & Fadlalla, M. (2018). Is arming teachers our nation’s best response to gun violence? The perspective of public health students. American journal of public health, 108(7), 862-863.
- Shamserad, F., McCuddy, T., & Esbensen, F. A. (2021). Pistol packing teachers: What do students think?. Journal of School Violence, 20(2), 127-138.
- Weiler, S. C., Cornelius, L. M., & Skousen, J. D. (2018). Safety at Schools: Identifying the Costs Associated with the Necessary Safeguards for Arming Educators. Rural Educator, 39(1), 54-58.