Arming Teachers
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Law and Politics

Arming Teachers

Guns in the classroom?

WHAT IT IS

  • Students across America are demanding safer school environments.
  • President Trump has proposed that 20% (or 640,000) of the nation's teachers carry guns to help prevent school mass shootings. 

  • President Trump expressed only "adept" teachers should be armed1  and has even called for bonuses for those teachers who carry.2

Legislative action is currently up to each state3, with 14 states arming at least 1 teacher.17

  • Teachers in Colorado and Ohio can receive firearm training from a group called FASTER
  • Pennsylvania, Maine, North and South Carolina, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska are considering bills that would allow teachers to be armed in the classroom.4

PROPOSED SOLUTIONS for

SAFER SCHOOLS

Arming Teachers

Using a Faculty/Administrative Safety

Training and Emergency Response 

(FASTER) program. 

Armed Guards

Having security or first responders

at a school site each day.

Mental Health

Programs like Safe Schools-Healthy Students

are intended to prevent violence and promote safety and discipline.

Coordination with other

community organizations is required.5

Gun Control Reform

Having stricter gun control

laws so that guns are not accessible

to adolescents.

PRO-ARMS

Time

An FBI study of active shooter incidents between 2000-2013 found that 44 of 63 shootings could have been “over” in five minutes or less.17 Police forces may not be able to arrive in that time window, especially in rural districts.6

 

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 42% of people surveyed believe the Parkland shooting could have been prevented if teachers had guns.7

 

 

Already there

There are at least 23,000 schools, nearly 1/3 of all public schools in the U.S., have armed security staff.8 The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found more schools are paying for daily armed guards.9

 

 

Properly trained

The FASTER program provides 26 hours of hands-on training over three days. Some consider this extensive training as an option for teachers, since it exceeds some requirements of police training.10

 

All cases of armed teachers are strictly voluntary.

ANTI-ARMS

Not safe

A teaching theory16 for high performance is to have inclusive and safe classroom environments. It is concerning for some that students have expressed knowing someone has a gun in the classroom makes them feel unsafe.17 

 

Having armed teachers could put more students at risk of accidental discharge. In the FASTER training, teachers are told that innocent students could be caught in the crossfire.18

 

 

Disarmed by the unarmed

An FBI study found that during shootings, unarmed school staff sometimes acted as first responders. In these specific instances, shooters were stopped more frequently by unarmed staff than armed officers.11

 

 

Losing teachers

Some worry that those considering teaching as a career will be discouraged by the idea of carrying a gun or potential of confronting a deadly shooter.

TWO TEACHERS...

...DIFFERENT OPINIONS

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • According to a March 2018 Gallup poll, 73% of U.S. teachers are opposed to arming teachers as a school safety measure. This was a national poll of nearly 500 K-12 teachers.12 
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics stated the “absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents.”13
  • 1 in 5 school police officers says their school is not prepared to handle an active-shooter situation.14

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Would you feel safe or uneasy knowing your teacher was carrying a gun?

  • Accidental fire is a potential for any gun owner and has already occurred in classrooms with armed teachers.16

  • Is the NRA supporting the potential solution to improve student safety or to increase potential profits?
Key Vocabulary