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Friday, March 31, 2023

Arming teachers – an effective security measure or a false sense of security?

In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, some elected officials are calling for renewed
Teachers will be trained to use weapons and firearms To protect the country’s schools. To shed light on the matter, The Conversation reached out to Amy Huff and Michelle Barnhart, two Oregon State University scholars who studied the ins and outs of putting guns in the hands of the nation’s teachers as a way to protect students. Is.

1. What does the public think about arming teachers?

According to a 2021 survey, 43% of Americans support policies that allow school workers to carry guns in schools.

But if you look closely, you’ll see that most of the support comes from Republicans and gun-owners. For example, 66% of Republican respondents expressed support for such policies, versus only 24% of Democratic respondents. And 63% of gun owners supported allowing school workers to carry guns, compared to 33% of non-gun owners.

Most teachers, parents and students oppose allowing teachers to carry guns.

The largest teacher unions, including the National Education Association, also opposed arming teachers, arguing that bringing more guns into schools “makes schools more dangerous and does nothing to protect our students and teachers from gun violence.” Is.”

These teacher unions advocate a preventive approach that includes more gun rules.

While the public is justifiably concerned about ending school shootings, there is disagreement over policies and actions that will be most effective. A 2021 study found that 70% of Americans supported the idea of ​​armed school resource officers and law enforcement in schools, but only 41% supported the idea of ​​training teachers to carry guns in schools.

In our research into how Americans think about rights and responsibilities related to armed self-defense, we also find disagreement among conservative gun owners on how to best protect schoolchildren. Some advocate giving weapons to teachers, while other gun owners believe that guns in schools ultimately make children less safe. These conservative opponents of arming teachers instead favor strengthening the building’s design and facilities.

After the massacre in Uvalde, we see renewed calls from politicians to train teachers and provide them with specialized training.

However, amid conflicting reports about whether police officers involved the Robb Elementary School shooter, fresh questions are being raised about whether armed teachers would make any difference. The police have admitted that they did not enter the school, even as the children dialed 911.

Given that armed officers were also present in the Columbine and Parkland school massacres in 1999 and 2018, respectively, the public is beginning to wonder whether armed teachers can effectively neutralize a shooter. Amid reports that trained and experienced police officers may be unable or unwilling to intervene against the Uvalde shooter, it is unclear whether teachers will be there.

2. What are the potential drawbacks of armed teachers?

Armed teachers introduce risks to students and staff, as well as to the school districts themselves. These include the risk of teachers accidentally shooting themselves or students and fellow staff. There are also ethical and legal risks associated with improper or incorrect defensive use of firearms – even for teachers who have undergone specialized firearms training.

One study found that only 18% of highly trained cops hit their targets in gunfights. Even if the teacher, who had less training, would achieve similar accuracy, four or five out of every six bullets fired by the teacher would hit someone other than the shooter. In addition, a teacher may be mistaken for an offender by law enforcement or armed allies for forcefully responding to a shooter.

Introducing guns in the school environment also poses everyday risks. Armed teachers may unintentionally discharge their firearms. For example, an armed police officer accidentally left his weapon in his office at a school in Alexandria, Virginia in 2018. Guns can also fall into the wrong hands. Research into hospital emergency room shootings found that in 23% of cases, the weapon used was a gun that the perpetrator had taken from a hospital security guard.

Students can also access firearms that have been improperly stored or misplaced. Improper storage is a common problem among American gun owners. In a school setting, this has resulted in students finding a teacher’s lost firearm, sometimes carrying it or reporting it to another school official. News reports suggest guns carried in schools have fallen from teachers’ clothes, and have been left in bathrooms and locker rooms. There are also reports of students stealing guns from teachers.

Insurance companies also see guns concealed on school grounds as an increased liability risk.

Other drawbacks to arming teachers include the learning environment. Specifically, because of structural racism and discriminatory school safety policies, black high school students are less supportive than white students of armed teachers – 16% versus 26% – and less safe if teachers are carrying firearms. Report the feeling.

3. What are the arguments for arming teachers?

Supporters insist that teachers, as Americans, have the right to use firearms to defend themselves against violent crime, including a school shooter. Our research shows that some interpret their right to armed self-defense as a moral obligation, and argue that teachers have both the right and responsibility to use firearms to protect themselves and their students. Is.

Parents who regularly carry a handgun to protect themselves and their children can take comfort in knowing that their child’s teacher can play a savior role at school.

In a school shooting, where lives can be saved or ended in seconds, some people may feel more secure in believing that a shooter will immediately encounter armed resistance from a teacher, without an armed school. without waiting for the reply of the officer.

4. Has any school district allowed teachers to arm themselves?

Yes. Teachers can carry guns to school in at least 19 state districts. The idea emerged as a viable policy after the 1999 Columbine shooting, and gained momentum after the 2018 Parkland shooting.

It is difficult to ascertain the number of school districts that allow teachers to be armed. Policies differ from state to state. New York prohibits school districts from allowing teachers to carry guns, while Missouri and Montana authorize teachers to carry firearms.

5. What were the results?

There are documented incidents of school staff using their firearm to neutralize a shooter. However, researchers haven’t found evidence that arming teachers increases school safety. Rather, armed teachers can contribute to a false sense of security for teachers, students, and the community.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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