Should teachers be armed?


Diane Nusbaum, Contributing Writer

After the recent school shootings, talk of arming teachers has risen. Arming teachers would definitely allow them to protect their students, but can’t that lead to other problems? What if a student gets a hold of the fire arm while the teacher is busy elsewhere? Or worse, what if a teacher is pushed to their limit and uses the fire arm against their students?  

Arming teachers, although not a horrible idea, should be the VERY LAST resort. There are other ways to protect students while they’re at school. In the case of a fire or tornado, schools will hold scheduled alarms to teach students what to do and how to get to safety. Something similar should be done in case of an intruder. My old school system used the A.L.I.C.E. program, which stood for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Other schools could use similar programs.  

Other schools, like Southwestern High School in Shelbyville, Indiana, have taken measures to up their security, giving teachers panic buttons that set off an alarm throughout the entire building with black boxes in the back of the rooms that allow them to let security know whether they and their students are safe or if they’re in immediate danger. The security cameras are linked directly to the local police station, so the police will know immediately and can take the proper measures to get the situation under control. A high school in Indiana has even put in bulletproof windows and doors along with smoke traps in the halls that can be set off by an officer at the local police station. 

More money should be going towards investing in every school’s security systems. It makes sense to spend the money that would be used on fire arms for teachers, on better security systems and training for proper safety measures instead. Maybe not to the extent of the high school in Indiana, but better programs can be implemented. Students and teachers can be better  prepared to deal with intruders safely, without the use of a fire arm. 

Arming teachers could just lead to more unnecessary tragedies. I would assume that the fire arms would be locked up in a secure place, but if a student really wanted to get a hold of a fire arm, they could find a way to get access to the teacher’s, which would put everyone in the same amount of danger as if any other school shooter was in the building.  

And if it were to come down to teachers being given fire arms for protection, they’ll need to be given proper training on how to use them. I also think teachers should have to get semi-regular psychiatric evaluations. Being a teacher can be incredibly stressful and can take a toll on one’s mental health. I’m not saying this would or could definitely happen, but what if a teacher had a mental break down and used their fire arm, given to them to protect their students, on a student or their whole class? Why give possible murderers easier access to a weapon when there are better, smarter ways to protect students while they’re at school?