Should your kid's teacher be armed?

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Nationwide there has been increasing emphasis on how to prevent violence directed at schools. Between adoption of metal detectors, increased use of school security guards and police officers, there have been others who contend that those already in constant contact with the students have the option of going in hot. Let us look at that.

The problem

In recent years schools with such innocent sounding names like Sandy Hook and Columbine have become household words due to the actions of mass murderers who would attack innocents. While criminologists contend these types of incidents are not gaining in frequency and have remained at a constant in the past several years, they are not going away.

In April a Pennsylvania teen went on a stabbing spree with a pair of kitchen knives in the crowded hallway of his high school, injuring 22.

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Officials outside of Franklin Regional High School, where a student stabbed more than 20 in April. Photo credit: Toledo Blade

Just this week, a troubled 17-year old teen in Washington state, John LaDue, appeared in court to answer a dozen felonies stemming from a foiled plot to kill his family and then attack a local school with pressure cooker bombs and firearms. According to reports, after shooting the school's resource officer first, LaDue planned to remain on his spree until he was killed by responding SWAT teams.

Solutions

Hoping for the best while not planning for the worst is not a plan.

Some fixes are easy. For instance Franklin Regional Senior High School, the site of the stabbing spree in April, has no metal detectors. Installation of such devices, turning entrances into controlled entry points, could very well have caught the knives in the student's bag before he made it into the school. Further, their very presence would have turned the school into a hard-target, and possibly discouraged the plan to begin with.

However, this alone will not stop school violence.

Then there are armed security and police. Unfortunately, these cost a lot of money and, in law enforcement; you really do get what you pay for. While there are programs such as the Department of Justice's COPS grant system, which put 356 new school resource officers onto campuses around the country in 2013 at a cost of $45 million (do the math on that), there simply isn't enough of them to go around.

In a situation such as the case with LaDue, should an active shooter target the sole resource officer at the beginning of the incident, the facility could be at the mercy of the shooter until police arrived.

Arming faculty

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(Photo credit: reddit)

First off, this concept is not new in our modern society. Since 2007, Texas has allowed for 'Guardian plan' teachers who are armed the entire time they are in school. The district reimburses employees for training, ammunition and the gun itself. They carry concealed. They are required to keep their gun in their possession the entire day-- not locked in a car, locker, or desk.

In all at least 71 districts in Texas now use this plan as standard operating procedure.

Ohio, through the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, faculty in more than 30 school districts has undergone what is called FASTER (Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response) courses and have armed staff inside their schools.

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(AP photo)

In Florida, a bill pending in that state would allow military veterans and former law enforcement officers to carry guns in Florida classrooms if they receive additional training and authorization from school leaders.

Opposition

Following the 2012 Newtown shooting, 37 states sought bills to allow armed teachers, but only seven passed into law.

In Arkansas, the state stepped in and declared a school district that sent some 20 volunteer armed faculty members through 50-hours of training, illegal.

Meanwhile movement to this plan in one Colorado brought discourse in the community.

"The only thing that's going to mitigate an active shooter threat is equal force, and a fire extinguisher and a pen or stapler or whatever these other programs suggest aren't equal force to an automatic weapon," one parent said in the meeting to discuss the plan.

To this administrators responded, "Our educators are telling us and the majority of my community is telling me this is not a plan that they're comfortable with at this time," school board chair Karen Byrd said.

Still, while John LaDue was comfortable with going to his local school and shooting it out until the local swat team arrived, would he have still hatched his plan if he thought it was possible that the first teacher he ran into may have shot back?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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9 COMMENTS
Posted: 
May 15, 2014  •  10:13 AM
Utah allows teachers to carry concealed and a large percentage of them do. As a New Yorker who lives with oppressive gun laws, my mind was blown when a Utah teacher told me this.
 
Posted: 
May 15, 2014  •  11:25 AM
Absolutely! Teachers, principals and staff should be armed. However, that would be totally unnecessary if we stopped listening to the liberal lies and stopped allowing liberals to control our lives. We need to get back to SPANKING our children (spanking their behinds, not beating them!), especially when they are still quite young. Discipline is useless when your child can tell you to go f*** yourself, and there's nothing you can do about it! Americans need to wise up!
 
Posted: 
May 15, 2014  •  09:28 PM
@fredmueller,I completely agree.
 
Posted: 
May 18, 2014  •  05:44 AM
Teachers with guns are just a band aid. The problem is deeper than corporal punishment alone. When we were growing up the school had it's own armory of 22 rifles for ROTC and hunters safety. No students shot each other. What has changed?

We didn't have teachers with an agenda other than the four R's. Police never came on campus. We didn't have truancy laws. We didn't have no child left behind. Teachers could focus on the students who wanted to learn.

At home both parents didn't have to work full time jobs to make ends meet. One parent could stay home and parent. We didn't have programs to pay for childcare so both parents could work all the time and only see there kids for an hour s day. Programs that are working like head start are getting cut or eliminated. Head start is awesome. It is wonderful to see a 4 year old with good handwriting.
 
Posted: 
May 21, 2014  •  10:53 PM
Short answer - yes. I think everyone should have the option of carrying. Laws and regulations dont stop criminals or mass murderers but stop law abiding citizens from being able to defend them selves...
 
Posted: 
June 7, 2014  •  01:20 AM
Parents need to stop listening to liberal lies. Get back to SPANKING children when they're in their "terrible twos" and "belligerent threes" and MAKE THEM MIND! I am NOT advocating beating children, punching them or hitting them with objects that could physically harm them. Discipline and SPANK them and our teachers wouldn't have to be armed, for crying out loud.
 
Posted: 
June 7, 2014  •  02:39 AM
I have supported this idea for years, but since I live in a progressive state (only until the end of this month)I , like Warfab, know it will never happen in NY.

I firmly stand behind the statement made after Newtown by Wayne LaPierre. The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun IS a good guy with a gun. Arm our teachers on a national level, and these shootings will be far less likely to happen.

I agree with John_Deer in that this is only a "Curad" fix. The problem is far deeper, and it's roots start at home. Less government involvement in raising our children, and better parenting is needed as well.
 
Posted: 
June 7, 2014  •  09:13 AM
I agree with most of the above. I believe that if the community has a good weapons training program for teachers that meet a specified standard. Being armed is good for the teachers to be able to protect children of all school age.
In addition there is much more to carrying! The mental state that is required to take action even against a juvenile attacker should the need arise. In addition it might be a good idea for the teachers to always carry concealed or have a weapon available in a secured unit in their classroom should it be needed. This would eliminate a possible attacker who might do a surveillance prior to a planned attack to see who was carrying and who was not. But as has been stated when the Liberals were allowed to take punishement out of our schools. Then God and morals out of our schools combined with mental issues and parents who want to be friends instead of parents we started this decline in responsibility, accountability and with mental issues and the games available a loss of reality. Vicious acts for those become nothing more than a game in their minds. Example the two twelve year old girls last week. But nothing at all wrong with teachers carrying as stated if properly trained.
 
Posted: 
June 13, 2014  •  11:37 AM
In the 1950's gun handling and classes were taught without incidents. I taught school for 15 years and reside in Texas. I hold a CHL and FFA license. That being said, education begins at HOME.... I fully support teachers being educated to maintain and protect their students. This includes methods of cool down and other means besides shooting or waving a gun around! More parents need to step up and be accountable for disciplining and truly setting examples for kids and not blame the 'system' or others for when kids go 'off.' So in answer to the question, I do believe RESPONSIBLE SOUND teachers and administrators should be prepared for the worst and trained for that extensively. You never want to use force, but having a definite plan of action BEFORE an incident will save lives and perhaps your own. Teri LaFaye
 
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