Teachers Must Be Armed, And Not with Guns

Kiya Kirkland, Staff Writer

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On February 14, 2018, seventeen innocent people lost their lives in an environment that was meant to be safe. Survivors of the tragedy refused to sit silently and lose the interest of the media, like most mass shootings. They sparked a long-awaited debate within our nation, gun control. 

President Donald Trump produced a controversial proposal to prevent these mass shooting from occurring again in a school setting: arm the teachers.  

Yes, Trump, what a great idea. Let’s bring more guns into our schools while survivors of this shooting, and many other activists, are attempting to regulate gun possession in their environment.  It’s counterproductive.  

Teachers in counties throughout the nation need up to date textbooks, computers for students, paper, pens, and so many other material things needed to make the school day productive. It is not in a teacher’s job description to be trained to carry a weapon, especially for their salary. If they are expected to carry a weapon, undergo training, AND educate our youth, then their paychecks should match that hard work. 

Brittany Wheaton, an English teacher in Utah stated, “I went to college to educate children, not because I wanted to kill another human. If I wanted a job where I was responsible for carrying a firearm, I would have taken a different career path.” 

Arm teachers with courses to handle students with mental health issues, not courses to fire a gun.  

If teachers are forced to carry a firearm, there could become a teacher shortage due to educators not being comfortable carrying weapons.  

Lindsey Paull, a first-grade teacher in Iowa, stated, “We would have a greater teacher shortage, because I know myself and a lot of my colleagues will leave the classroom because we wouldn’t feel safe with guns in our school.” 

And what if the gun gets into the hands of a student? Teachers could be easily overpowered and if the weapon gets in the wrong hands, we could have another school shooting, which is what we’re trying to avoid. 

To voice their opinions, teachers have started the movement “#ArmMeWith” to propose other resources that they’d rather be armed with. 

Many teachers want to be armed with everything ranging from smaller class sizes to get to know the students better, to more counselors suited to help with the well-being of students. There definitely must be a change in our schools, but guns have never, and will never be the answer.  

This debate is refusing to grow quiet like it has many times before. Teachers and students are pushing the matter until there are modifications.  

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