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.
- Legislative action is currently up to each state [EdWeek], with 14 states arming at least 1 teacher. [Vice]
- 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. [Idaho State Journal]
PROPOSED SOLUTIONS for
Having security or first responders
at a school site each day.
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. [FBI]
Police forces may not be able to arrive in that time window, especially in rural districts. [NPR]
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 42% of people surveyed believe the Parkland shooting could have been prevented if teachers had guns. [ABC News]
There are at least 23,000 schools, nearly 1/3 of all public schools in the U.S., have armed security staff. [Fox News]
The National Center for Education Statistics found more schools are paying for daily armed guards. [The Guardian]
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. [Ohio Attorney General]
All cases of armed teachers are strictly voluntary.
A common teaching theory for high student performance is to maintain inclusive and safe classroom environments. Some are concerned that students have expressed feeling unsafe knowing someone has a gun in the classroom. [Time]
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. [Vox]
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. [NPR]
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.
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. [Gallup]
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." [AAP News]
- 1 in 5 school police officers says their school is not prepared to handle an active-shooter situation. [EdWeek]
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. [CBS News]
- Is the NRA supporting the potential solution to improve student safety or to increase potential profits?