Written by Mary Todd Christian. Media by Jack Dawdy.
Disclaimer: This topic may be sensitive to some readers.
As a student who has attended public school, I thankfully have never had to encounter a situation where there was a need to truly defend ourselves during a school day. Sadly, this has not been the case of many school children. Several of our nation’s schools have been the targets of evil. After tragedies like, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the most recent being the Sandy Hook Shooting, the argument continues as to whether teachers should have the right to carry firearms. Should teachers have the option to carry a gun and defend their classrooms? Some argue that they have the right to protect their class, and if they are licensed and trained, they should be allowed. Others contend that that having a concealed weapon in school will only put the children more at risk. What is the best decision for our children? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
PROS of Teachers Carrying Concealed Weapons
There is the argument that if educators are allowed to carry guns they have a better chance of protecting their students and themselves. For schools in rural areas like Harrold High School in north Texas, the right for teachers to carry guns is a comfort to staff and students alike. The administration states that they feel safer knowing that, should an intruder enter the school, teachers are ready to jump into action. They also explain because of their rural location, by the time the rescue squads would reach the school, it could be too late. According to students, they have no idea which of their teachers are armed and only the superintendent and school board know. By allowing the teachers to be armed, they believe that they are able to save time and more importantly, lives.
CONS of Teachers Carrying Concealed Weapons
According to many, teachers carrying guns is unacceptable. An article by Huffington Post suggests that children of the school will be afraid knowing that their teachers are carrying concealed weapons. Other sources say that it will distract
from learning and that the children will feel unsafe knowing (rather not knowing) whether their teacher may or may not have a concealed weapon in the classroom. Moreover, are the teachers carrying the weapons even “law-abiding citizens?” And if students aren’t allowed to bring guns to school, shouldn’t the same be expected of teachers? Overall, supporters of this side believe that it will only create greater risk for students because of the uncertainty.
What I Think
I can see both sides to the argument. However, if I had to choose a position on this subject, I would say that anyone who is trained, licensed, and meets all the requirements to carry a gun should be allowed to carry one… including teachers. Also coming from a small, rural community, and with a hospital almost an hour away, I know a lot can happen in a short period of time. If teachers are trained, and know the importance of gun safety and how to handle a gun, they should have the right to protect themselves and their students. For those who argue that a teacher is not trained to carry a gun, I would question their school’s administration entirely especially if their job, besides teaching, is to keep their children fell safe. If people are worried about the kids being distracted and scared… don’t stress the fact that their teachers are carrying guns. Don’t make that a focus especially if the students are elementary age. I’m not an expert in this arena, and I can’t speak for all schools. My opinion is solely formed by what I have grown up with and experienced. Each school is different and will have different ways of handling these situations. I certainly think that every school should have a security or resource officer that is trained specifically for this purpose. However, I think there should be a set expectation for each school for what to do if an intruder enters. If we entrust our teachers with firearms for this purpose it is solely for our students’ protection.