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Teachers: Armed Educators Not The Answer To School Violence

A memorial message at the site of the school shooting earlier this month.

A memorial message at the site of the school shooting earlier this month.

Mikayla Kemp provided information for this report
OSWEGO COUNTY – In the wake of yet another deadly shooting spree at a school, president Trump has suggested arming teachers would help put an end to the carnage.

Some area teachers, however, don’t think that is a good idea. They say other options should be explored first.

A memorial message at the site of the school shooting earlier this month.
A memorial message at the site of the school shooting earlier this month.

According to one county teacher, The notion of arming teachers should only be considered only after all other options have been exhausted. The sad truth is that very few options have been looked at or attempted in large part because of the NRA’s financial grip on the legislative branch, one area teacher said.

“I am a gun owner and I support the Second Amendment, but I do not believe assault weapons should be in the hands of civilians. Before we even contemplate putting guns in the hands of classroom teachers, I think there are several common sense initiatives that could be implemented,” they told Oswego County Today.

The educator continued:

The first thing Congress should do is bring back the Assault Weapons Ban (1994-2004). After the ban is reinstated, the federal government could offer a buy back of any assault weapons, say $2,000 per weapon, no questions asked, this would get thousands of assault weapons off the streets. Yes this could be costly but it would be peanuts compared to the money our government wastes on a daily basis.

Background checks: The federal government saw fit to attempt to mandate the Common Core to all 50 states but won’t do the same for universal background checks?

Last month our president reversed an Obama era regulation that kept guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people, that legislation should be reinstated tomorrow.

In addition to those suggestions, we need more resources for mental health in our schools. Getting kids the help they need before they get the notion of brigning a gun into schools is paramount. Unfortunately the needs of some of these kids can not be met by the professionals we have in our school.

If documentations indicate a child who is disrupting a school or has violent tendencies, a school should be able to suspend that child until the parents can provide documentation that they have gotten the child professional, clinical help. The school could provide a list of providers, help with paper work, look for financial aid and transportation. If the parent refuses, the child should not be allowed to come back to school and the matter should be turned over to law enforcement and or Social Services (which need a massive increase in funding by the way).

When the family can prove the child is getting the treatment/ services they need, they then can come back to school. Schools pretend that we have all the expertise and answers for students that are mentally unstable which is untrue and a disservice to those students.

Lastly, if we are going to have people in schools carrying guns, those people should be professionally trained law enforcement officers, period.

Teachers have proven that we will give our lives to protect our students, it is a natural reaction to us and we ask for no additional praise for that mentality.

Putting guns in the hands of teachers and potentially asking us to shoot one of our students to protect others is both an asinine and impractical solution.

It also helps the NRA with its ultimate goal which is to help the gun manufacturers that pay them to sell as many guns as possible.

When Congress starts putting the lives of students over gun sales, perhaps the suggestions I have offered and others ideas can be debated and enacted, the sooner the better as our kids lives depend on it.

Another teacher replied:

“In short, I think that arming teachers, administrators, and other school personnel is a bad idea. Having a police officer or trained guard at every school is one thing; but teachers and principals having firearms is another,” they said. “We were trained to help students learn. Had I been interested in becoming skilled in using a firearm, I would have chosen another profession. Instead I chose to help students learn the subject I teach and firing a weapon was never part of the thought process.”

They continued:

This profession is stressful and having a firearm would only add the stress of the job.

If an intruder ever came into the building and I had to decide if I could fire a gun to stop that intruder, while also trying to decide if that shot could happen without hitting a student would be more than I could handle.

I can only imagine the grief and guilt that would enter a person’s mind if they hit the student and not the intruder.

I don’t think that students would feel better knowing that some teachers are armed.

Imagine spending your English class wondering if the teacher in the front of the room had a holstered gun.

That does not make for an environment that is conducive to learning.

Other comments

“Every state needs to have a background check system like NYS has. The federal government mandated the Common Core but won’t do the same for background checks for guns? Pathetic.”

***

“Well – in our high school we have a SRO who I trust to protect our building. So, I don’t think it is necessary to arm teachers. Our job is hard enough these days without adding the responsibility of carrying a gun. I can see where it may be added security and maybe be deterrent to a shooting – there are many things I think could also go wrong. I believe practicing responses to emergency situations and students being educated about reporting things they hear or see would be a more sensible solution.”

***

“Arm me with a school psychologist at my school who has time to do more than test and sit in meetings about testing. Arm me with enough counselors so we can build skills to prevent violence, have meaningful discussions with students about their future and not merely frantically adjust student schedules like a Jenga game. Arm me with more days on the calendar for teaching and learning, and fewer days for standardized testing.’

One teacher declined comment except for: “There was too much to be said.”

17 Comments

  1. I have watched as a typically hysterical media responds falsely to President Trumps one suggestion about the possibility of arming teachers who were only willing and trained to do so. “He wants to arm all the teachers!” Typical fake reporting. Nobody is going to force a teacher to carry a gun in the schools. But the time for “having a conversation” has long since passed. We have security guards in museums, stadiums, and many other venues which seat a large group of people, why we do not have this in our schools is the truly asinine feature of our society.
    During this latest shooting there were laws and safeguards in place, however many of the signals were ignored. These laws and safeguards only work if the people who are supposed to enforce them do their job.
    It’s time to stop the false narrative, and deal with this in an adult manor. It’s also time to quit blaming the weapon, and start blaming the people who commit the crime.

  2. Taxed you are 100 % correct I would add School Principals & Superintendents are sadly lacking in school security expertise & need ongoing Yearly mandatory security Training as to school security measures & Implementation.

  3. Minnesota ABC affiliate KSTP reports that during a group activity at the Harmony Learning Center in Maplewood, Minnesota, a third grade child was able to reach into a police officer’s holster and fire off his gun. Luckily, no one was hurt.
    The release says the officer was sitting on a bench, and a third-grader “reached over and placed his finger into the officer’s gun holster and pressed the trigger of the officer’s gun causing it to discharge though the bottom of the holster.”

  4. Mike Hayden: In Highlighted Lettering at the beginning of the article “Mikayla Kemp provided information for this report.”

  5. national rifle addiction is passed on to the children either automatically (ackackackackackackack) or semi-automatically (ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack)
    We should change the names of AR-15s to “Marco Rubios” because they are so easy to buy.

  6. *We should expect the killing of students to cease when the Government approval of the Murder of over 3500 children per day through Abortion ceases.
    The school system no longer teaches that the 2nd Amendment is in our Constitution to protect the citizens from Government, which would love to take away that Right, as it did in Russia, Nazi Germany, Cuba, China and other Socialist countries. God spare us from ‘Government do gooders.’

  7. For years we played with imaginary, and or plastic guns, and school shootings were nothing that were even on the radar. What’s changed? Not the availability of guns, because they have always been around. We need to start looking at the breakdown of the family unit, and the ridiculous bombardment of violence in our culture, ie; realistic murderous video games, movies, violent music etc.
    Until we start dealing with this as adults, nothing changes.

  8. Mike Hayden i don’t feel my editors suggested anything other then to reflect the statements from the educators they talked to.

  9. Indeed, all that was stated in this article was that of what was remarked from local teachers in various school districts throughout the county. You may be mistaking part of a teacher’s response for information Steve or myself contributed to the report. Please note, “the educator continued:” before the following information in reference.

  10. A lot of remarks on here imploring people to act “like adults.”

    So in that vein, let’s be adult about it.

    As adult Americans should know, we have 325 million guns floating around the country, several orders of magnitude more than any society in human history.

    Adult Americans also understand that we endure exponentially more gun violence than any other society on the face of the Earth.

    The adult conclusion would be: more guns in the hands of people, more gun violence. American history empirically proves the correlation.

    On the notion a gun is an “inanimate object” … I suppose it’s a right-wing/NRA talking point … is technically true but so is a nuclear weapon. It’s the role humans play in the matter that makes inanimate objects potentially lethal. And with so many inanimate objects in our country, as compared to other countries, it follows that the inanimate objects contribute to and cause unequaled suffering and death in the United States.

    The goal of a mature adult society should be less violence. Less violence can be attained with less guns, with restrictions on the type of guns available to citizens, and with restrictions on gun manufacturers pouring weapons into the society for private profit.

    On the notion of blaming the people who commit the crime instead of the gun: no, the appropriate position is to blame both. The shooter in Parkland would not have done as much damage armed with a butter knife … the guns are a major factor … the fact that this 19-year-old with a history of anti-social behavior, who had been reported to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, could just waltz into a store and purchase an assault rifle is a societal failure. The American gun culture, which exports violence abroad, and perpetuates violence at home, must be reckoned with … by any adults interested in such a task.

  11. Criminals will always have access to weapons. Less guns in the hands of good people is beyond foolish. Studies repeatedly show the areas with more responsible gun owners show less crime.
    Gun free zones do nothing but endanger those in that zone.
    There were plenty of safeguards in place at the time of this shooting, but again, they only work when enforced. The ball was dropped by many people which resulted in this nut shooting up the school.
    Stronger background checks would certainly help, but only if they are followed, and followed up on.
    Pretending we can wish or hope away guns is anything but adult.

  12. Re: Cal

    The Second Amendment isn’t in the Constitution “to protect the citizens from Government.” The Second Amendment is in the Constitution to enable militias to defend their states from Native Americans and European empires (British, French, Spanish). The Second Amendment was a political concession to Anti-Federalist opponents of a national standing army. State militias were thought of as an alternative to a standing army. The Second Amendment clearly places the right to bear arms in the context of state militias … as such, the Second Amendment is now antiquated, as the United States now has a professional military.

    The notion that the Second Amendment has something to do with the ability of the citizen to protect himself from government is just right-wing propaganda. The amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The amendment does not say, “Protection from a tyrannical government, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It doesn’t say that. Your claim is absolutely false.

    And like any text that is centuries old, flaws are bound to be there. After all, the Bill of Rights was a product of the first Congress, it was full of political compromises, and some of it is antiquated, none more so than the Second Amendment.

    But even if one does grant an individual “right to bear arms,” the text says nothing about “right to bear any arms that humans will ever be capable of manufacturing.” The amendment was added to the original Constitution in 1791 … firearms have changed a bit since then. Imagine one day a gun with a hydrogen bomb level explosion when the trigger is pulled … would the people still have a right to bear that type of arm?

    We have AR 15’s and similar weaponry in the hands of civilians and those guns, and their owners, are causing repeated massacres at schools and other civilian areas. We need regulation, we need to update and clarify the Second Amendment, and we need a cultural change where individual Americans decide to do other things than purchase and keep large numbers of guns, for no reason.

    Some say “it’s fun” to fire a gun. Good … find something else to do that’s fun. A gun is a barbaric instrument which is causing far too much death and destruction within what should be a peaceful civil society. We don’t need 325 million guns.

    And for Taxed, Mr. NRA, “wishing” and “hoping” has nothing to do with gun control. Policy, legislation, regulation, and consciously promoting peace are the means to reduce gun violence in America.

  13. Gunfree zones aka soft targets wake up people its called REALITY ,it will not stop in our lifetime , carry concealed……not a gun nut just a “REALITY DREAMER”..

  14. “shall not be infringed” is key. Government cannot infringe upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
    Every Socialist and Communist regime has begun with one thing first, disarming the citizenry.
    I don’t consider myself Mr. NRA, however if that means I would rather have the ability to protect my family from intruders without having to wait for a federal, state, or local law enforcement to finally show up, then I guess I will wear that badge.
    You can hang your “Gun free zone” in your window, and hope the bad guys are afraid of it. I will hang my”gun owner lives here” sign, and be comforted to know which one of us is more secure.
    By the way, studies show where guns are banned, the murder rate increases. I’ll share some news with you Anon. Criminals don’t follow laws or regulations. Laws and regulations on guns only hamstring law abiding citizens.
    Just interjecting a bit of sense for ya.
    Happy wishin’ and hopin’ to ya

  15. The line about “socialist and Communist governments” disarming people is just more propaganda, part of the false right-wing pro-gun narrative.

    No other country in the world puts more guns in the hands of its people than the United States … and we still have oligarchy, billionaire government, undue influence for the military-industrial complex.

    “Shall not be infringed” in the context of an antiquated notion: state militias. And gun control does not mean a total gun ban. Conservatives also conveniently miss that point as well. Gun control: limit the types of guns citizens can own … get rid of assault rifles and other weapons capable of inflicting mass death quickly … nobody’s saying you can’t have a handgun.

    The government has nuclear weapons and other WMD … some right-wing revolution against tyranny is going to violently take on the U.S. government? It’s an idiotic notion in the 21st century … and it was never what the Second Amendment was about. [also, with government in the hands of corporations and Wall Street, how much more “tyrannical” do things need to become before all the armed conservatives spring into action?]

    You can live in fear of intruders and protect yourself if that’s your thing … but you need an AR 15 or other assault rifle to do it? Have you suffered many home invasions lately? And successfully put down the intruder with a firearm? FDR spoke of “freedom from yfear” … dig it.

    Criminals are not criminals until they commit a crime. Many of the criminals were law-abiding gun owners until they committed a crime. Putting guns in the hands of people increases the likelihood of criminal gun violence. Laws and regulations, as exist in most other countries, have the effect of reducing gun violence.

    I don’t hang any sign regarding guns anywhere … just isn’t a way of life for me and other peaceful citizens. We don’t live clinging to a gun fearing home invasions, just have our minds on other things … like living.

    Your so-called studies are false … the United States leads the world in gun ownership and it leads the world in gun violence … that’s the only study relevant to the conversation.

    [and btw, as you’re looking out the front window with gun in hand waiting for the intruders, the Republicans are stealing your Social Security and Medicare out the back door. Republicans need your fear to get away with their oligarchic agenda … and you’re doing exactly as they’ve programmed you … wake up, man.]

  16. Social security was robbed by Democrat LBJ to fix poverty, and of course failed miserably.
    I suggest you do some reading before you claim my studies are false. https://crimeresearch.org/2013/12/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-after-gun-bans/
    The United States doesn’t put guns in it’s citizens hands. They freely and constitutionally purchase them.
    We have more gun laws and regulations than any other nation, so more of them will do nothing, because as I said, criminals don’t obey laws.
    The Supreme court has ruled repeatedly on the militia meaning of the 2nd amendment. Again, read and educate yourself.
    Hope you enjoy a peacefully carefree liberal sunshine day Anon. You sound like you could use it.

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