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Arming the Teachers: an Effective Way to Protect the Lives of Children

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In the current times, shootings at schools have become quite frequent. Everyday, some kids worry about if they are going to be next. Their brains immediately go to what they hear on the news. They begin fearing to go to school. Many politicians have suggested that educators should be allowed to carry firearms. Of course, these suggestions have requirements,such as completing firearm training and passing psychological evaluations(Johnson). The statements about having teachers armed has created a lot of controversy. Some parents say yes, while others say no. Some teachers are all for being taught how to defend themselves and their students, while others are highly against it. Educators should have the right to protect themselves and their students by carrying a firearm. Teachers today have many other jobs besides just teaching. They are now required to protect us. Yet, how can they protect us from a shooter if they do not have anything to fight back with?

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Thing is, they cannot. According to FBI statistics, there is approximately twenty school shootings a year (Johnson). The average police response time is about thirty minutes, and in that time, the shooter could have already completed his or her goal (Johnson). Up to nine people can die per second in a school shooting ( Choi). If the teachers are armed however, it could take about twenty seconds for teachers to end the situation by shooting the shooter ( Choi). Many school districts in Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and South Dakota allow staff to carry their personal firearms on them (Hartocollis and Fortin). For example, Pflugerville, Texas has started using the Marshal Program. This program, run by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, that was created in 2014, has grown majorly due to the Sante Fe school shooting that happened less than an hour away from them (Choi). Many other school districts have programs similar to the Marshal program such as the Guardian Program of Callisburg ISD (Chavez). The reasons some districts have these programs vary. Some have them due to their distance from police, others wanted for protection if needed (Chavez). Although there are many people who are for arming educators, there is a strong resistance to it. Many law enforcement experts are saying no due to educators lack of training and lack of tactical knowledge (Hartocollis and Fortin). Some educators are saying no also. They believe that they should not carry because they are supposed to be nurturing, and having a firearm makes them seem dangerous. There is also the risk of accidents happening. One California teacher, who was carrying one day accidentally fired and injured a student (Brueck). Research has also suggested it could possibly lead to more violence, such as a student grabbing the weapon and opening fire ( Brueck). In Germany, who had similar problems in the nineties with school shootings, had a different idea than arming teachers.

They decided to give leasons on “leaking behaviors” (Brueck). These leaking behavior consisted of: written, spoken, or drawn hints of violent intentions or fantasies, demonstrations of weapons, posts online, lists of certain classmates and threats against people or school (Brueck). A prime example of leaking behaviors is Nicholas Cruz, who was the Parkland school shooter. Cruz posted on his social media about killing himself and others (Brueck). The two boys who shot up Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, also expressed suspicious behaviors by pretending to hold guns in pictures. Many school shootings can be limited if people knew the red flag behaviors ( Winn). Yet, a couple of educators per school, depending on the campus population size, should carry firearms in case these red flag behaviors are not reported and a school shooting happens. It is all about keeping the students safe. As long as the students are safe, educators should be allowed to carry firearms. It is all in means for safety. Some may disagree with the carrying of firearms, but it is a necessity in case something terrible happens. Just imagine being in class and being put in a school shooting situation, helpless. Most would want to be able to defend themselves, not be sitting ducks. Most of the time, that is what happens.

The students are sitting in a classroom, and they have no escape because the shooter could be out in the hallway. If there is any easy way into a room that shooter is going to take it ( Hartocollis and Fortin). The students also are taught to not act on their instincts, which can be the difference between life and death ( Hartocollis and Fortin). Imagine being in a society where educators are allowed to carry. There could possibly be less deaths due to school shootings due to the shooter being shot in the beginning before multiple lives were lost. It could even potentially solve school shootings for a while due to the shooters not knowing where soft targets are. Soft targets being the school that are known to not have any educators carry firearms on them. That is why it is so important for teachers to be allowed to carry. It could lead to a safer future. A future where kids do not have to go to school with that fear of a school shooting gnawing at them.

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