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Stranger Than Fiction: Teachers to Carry Guns?
posted by: Alix | January 21, 2011, 03:43 PM   

In the wake of the tragedy in Arizona and recent school shootings across the country, a debate over guns has started yet again. While commentators struggle to make sense of these horrible massacres, the teachers of these students often come forward to share similar stories of troubled and threatening students in their classrooms. On state senator in Nebraska believes he has found a solution, introducing a bill that would allow school administrators, teachers and security staff to carry concealed handguns in schools.

"If you have a kid come in to shoot a teacher ... or other kids, it's best to have somebody that can take care of the situation," stated Nebraska State Senator Mark Christensen.

Currently 42 states and the District of Columbia have banned guns in schools. According to a recent report, the only school district in the country that allows guns to be carried into school is the Harrold Independent School District in Texas. The policy was enacted in 2007 and requires those carrying the firearms to be trained and carry special non-lethal bullets.

Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt stated, "We are our first responders" and that he finds the policy "comforting". Thweat noted that small rural schools often cannot afford security guards. "To say that the only people who can protect themselves have to [have] a badge ... that's just ludicrous. There are a lot of people who can act responsibly."

Obviously safety concerns are paramount in schools. "It would be extremely dangerous for teachers to be firing weapons in the classroom," argues Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence citing countless possible accidents involving children.

While every school system is different, the debate has been gaining national media attention and raises questions regarding teachers' many roles in the classroom.

What do you think of the proposed policy?

Comment below.

Comments (7)Add Comment
written by Abby, December 14, 2012

After the shooting today at an Elementary school do you fools who were against this feel the same way? Have you noticed the last two shootings have been by pathetic men who shot up places where they KNEW no one would be able to defend themselves? I am all for teachers carrying guns to protect their lives and their student's lives.
I'd Vote FOR It!
written by Annie, AZ, January 22, 2011

Honestly, I'm sick the bad guys being the only people with weapons!

I'm with Texas. Make it a fair fight! You bring guns to school, be prepared to fight the trained army of teachers.
written by Ben, London, January 22, 2011

This plan is twisted. The likelyhood of a shooting happening at any school is incredibly small, but the chance of a teacher or administrator accidentally hurting a kid with it is much higher. Besides, if we're talking about things that could 'possibly happen' you should also take into account mentally unstable teachers doing the shooting and kids stealing the gun off the teacher.
good luck
written by anthony RI, January 22, 2011

All I see this doing is making teachers primary targets in these unfortunate events. Even if they are not a class room filled with hostage is hardly the appropriate training ground for a weekend commando.
written by Aubrey, Michigan, January 21, 2011

The weapons would be concealed, not available to the students, and not used unless there was a terrible situation already happening. Most states require some proof of training and good judgment to carry concealed anywhere. If we don't trust the teachers to be responsible with a tool, why are they in the classrooms to begin with? The "security" that schools have now is obviously not entirely effective, and this would be another safeguard, not a danger.
In. Sane.
written by Erin, Iowa, January 21, 2011

As a Nebraskan transplanted to Iowa, and a teacher in a middle school, I find the idea of this to be totally insane. This in an invitation to an increase of violence in schools.
written by Anne, Oklahoma, January 21, 2011

As I understand it, the district in Texas that allows this is extremely rural - 30 minutes or more from first responders. In a case like the Amish school shootings in Pennsylvania, there is little to no backup for the school staff, so a trained, licensed, nonlethal option for protection of the students is a good thing.

In an urban situation, where there are security guards, and fast response, I don't know that this is a good idea, especially in schools with violent histories, because it would be too easy for a teacher or staff member to incorrectly second guess student intent and maim or kill a student without enough cause. Expensive, energy intensive, and time consuming as they are, metal detectors, prevention programs, and vigilance on the part of the entire school community will pay higher dividends for urban schools.

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