Teachers Question Idea to Arm School Staff

Ryan Mott, Veritas Staff

April 9, 2018

Gun control has been a controversial topic ever since the tragic event in Parkland, Florida on February 14 in which 17 students and faculty members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were shot and killed. Nineteen year old Nicholas Cruz used an AR-15 assault rifle to gun down his former classmates.

Some believe it’s time to enforce stricter gun laws, causing movements such as the “March For Our Lives,” which occurred on Saturday, March 24, with approximately 800,000 people marching to their state houses demanding reform.

However, this is only one side of the story; others such as President Donald Trump, backed by the NRA (National Rifle Association), believe the issue is not the presence of too many guns. They feel that school staff should instead be licensed to carry firearms inside schools.

President Trump tweeted on February 24, “Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”

NRA spokesman Colion Noir backed President Trump’s opinion saying, “What if we didn’t exploit the trauma of kids to push a political agenda? What if the media actually covered the kids that completely disagree with you? What if we had put armed guards in every school in America five years ago when the NRA first pushed for it?”

Even though the president is backed by the NRA and many supporters, his views on the issue are not as popular among teachers, those who would be affected the most.  According to a poll conducted by Statista, only about 20% of teachers share the opinion that armed teachers would make schools “safer.”  In this poll approximately 58% of teachers felt the plan would make schools “less safe.”  Another 22% believe schools would be “about as safe as they are now.”

Teachers at Rockland High seem to agree with the majority of the teachers questioned in the poll.  Assistant Principal Kathleen Paulding said, “Allowing individuals to carry guns in a school will not improve safety.”  The school’s dean, math teacher Fredrick Damon said, “Nothing to do with politics…this is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard.”

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