Teachers Take Control

Submitted By maypie97
Words: 1003
Pages: 5

Megan Cutshall
Mrs. Hensley
AP English
16 April 2014
Teachers Take Control

Violence such as the high profile school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania can cause concern within school communities, even if they are not directly affected by the events. Adults and students struggle to understand why these events happen and, more importantly, how they can be prevented. School principals and superintendents can provide leadership in reassuring students, staff, and parents that schools are generally very safe places for children and reiterating what safety measures and student supports are already in place in their school. With that being said, would it not be a safe idea to allow teachers to have a concealed gun with them at all times? Although recent polls by The New York Times show that 72% of parents favor teachers having a gun in the classroom, the remaining 28% have an opposing viewpoint (John Eligon). Some may say that there’s little to stop children from becoming extremely vulnerable if they are under the supervision of someone who could turn on them. Gun attacks like Columbine and Virginia Tech are often by people whose potential for violence was not spotted by anyone until it was too late, according to Huff Post Politics (Sara Gates). People in positions of authority are not always reliable or rational, and no amount of safety checks can guarantee that some teachers will not abuse the powers they have. This measure would simply increase the potential threat from those who have been authorized to carry guns in schools. Taking this to its natural conclusion, what is to stop teachers’ guns from simply falling into the wrong hands? A child could steal a teacher’s gun and use it against a classmate, causing unintentional or intentional fatalities. Arming teachers simply makes such events possible rather than protecting against them. Allowing teachers to carry arms in school could mean that very young children could easily become acclimatized to the idea that carrying a gun and ultimately gun usage is ok. Surely the way to prevent incidents from happening is to teach children about the potentially destructive and fatal consequences of gun usage? For elementary/primary school-age children, it would be difficult to separate the idea that it’s ok for teachers to always carry guns but not for anyone else. If teachers were granted the right of ‘shoot to kill,’ as the mechanism would imply, of anyone they found threatening, the consequences to completely innocent people in a crossfire could be tragic and fatal. Ultimately, teachers are not police officers and are thus not equipped to take out an armed criminal in the same way. The logic of trying to make schools less vulnerable to violent attacks by introducing more firearms is hugely flawed. People who are against the idea of allowing teachers to have guns in school do have a point. They may think that the students and staff are in a more risky position than to not have guns because anything can happen, says Grace Chen, editor of Public School Review (Grace Chen). A gun could potentially fall into the wrong hands. But which side of this issue would prove to be more beneficial? Teachers definitely do need to have a concealed gun with them. If school teachers, as people in positions of authority over vulnerable groups, were permitted to carry arms then it would guarantee greater protection for children. Incidents in recent years such as the massacre at Columbine High School have proven that a significant risk exists of school children gaining access to guns and using them against their classmates. The carnage could have been prevented if the teachers present had been able to defend themselves and the children in their care as teachers would be able to act as a first line of defense. Another incident includes a school in Lincoln, Nebraska where a 17-year-old shot