UNITED STATES (Eagle News) — The Federal Commission on School Safety recently released its report to the President of the United States with recommended solutions to advance safety in U.S. schools.
The commision was established by President Donald Trump following the February 14, 2018, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The panel, led by Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Betsy DeVos, was tasked to produce policy recommendations with the aim of preventing future tragedies.
One recommendation is to give state and local authorities the freedom to arm not only school resource and security officers but teachers and other school employees with guns.
The exact wording of the Final Report on the Federal Commision on School Safety December 18, 2018, is:
“States and local communities, in concert with law enforcement, should consider various approaches to school safety based on their own unique needs. School districts may consider arming some specially selected and trained school personnel (including but not limited to SROs and SSOs) as a deterrent.”
Individuals from across the U.S. reacted to the panel’s recommendation.
Special Education Teacher
Las Vegas Nevada
“I absolutely do not agree with arming teachers and staff to ensure school safety. I believe that the Administration is putting a “band-aid” on a very serious problem with gun control. Teaching is stressful enough as it is nowadays. We have to wear so many hats (e.g., teacher, counselor, nurse, disciplinarian, writer, secretary, peacemaker, detective of abuse, etc.) and he wants us to be gun-holders/owners, too! We already have too many responsibilities on our shoulders and we get little respect from our society for the tireless work that we do daily. Everything is blamed on us, yes, even the way children were raised before they even stepped on campus. Forcing teachers to own guns will never be the answer. Providing stricter laws when it comes to buying a gun (just like in Japan) has a better possibility of change with school safety. As teachers, our main goals are to educate and to protect our students at all cost. We don’t need to have a gun to do just that.”
Cristal Diaz Deleon
Medical Support Assistant with the Veterans Health Administration
“I am for the idea of Trump arming teachers as long as the teachers do meet the criteria as 1639 passed on and they have a mental health background check and background checks are completed. I think that arming our teachers also eliminates some inside threats may be in their own schools. I think that as long as the teachers are well trained and maintain their training status that it actually is [good] for the school, for the children, for the safety of the children.”
Parent of 8th Grader
Las Vegas, Nevada
“I believe that there is a lot of chaos going on as it is in the classroom and kids are misunderstood and they’re trying to find their way through life and they’re going through different emotions and teachers are usually stressed and this is their highest level of stress and to have a gun and use that as a form of protection against children I totally disagree with that. I believe that you’re setting innocent children up to be harmed when they need to be reevaluated and educated on how to address the situation without using forms of violence.”
“I don’t feel like that’s the smartest option. Reason why is because I think that would put fear in the students for a teacher having a weapon. You know, like a teacher may retaliate, a student may be disrespectful and a teacher may overreact. I mean they’re not technically supposed to have weapons at school. I mean, that takes away from the nature of learning and brings fear amongst the school and it just takes away the experience of just being a regular student and being a regular teacher. If anything, they should have security, police officers or something roaming the hallways, on the premises or even just on the outside of the school. I think that would bring fear to a possible attacker. They would think twice about coming to a school that’s heavily armed with security and police officers on site. You know, but teachers having weapons, you’d have to train the teacher. It’s just a whole other ballgame, having teachers having weapons. I just don’t feel like that’s a smarter option to have.”
Bellmore, New York
The problem is the extreme ease with which Americans can attain access to these destructive weapons and use them to create occurrences of tragedy. Yet, our proposed solution is to put these same weapons directly into schools, where an alarming number of mass shootings have already taken place. The presence of guns in our schools can put the lives of our students at such great and unwarranted risk, regardless of whether or not the purpose of said weapons is to protect them.
Retired mother of three and grandmother of five
Orland Park, Illinois
“I have three children and five grandchildren so the safety of students is very important to me. I disagree with President’s Trump’s recommendation to arm teachers to keep the school safe. Teachers should focus all their time and effort to educate the students. Are the teachers going to be required then to have expertise in handling guns? So it will be included on their job evaluations? In hiring new teachers, will there be emphasis on gun experience rather than on good educational and teaching experience? Why can’t the president campaign for stricter gun laws and ban automatic weapons? Mr. President, let teachers teach.”
(Eagle News Service)