Should teachers be armed to protect kids in school?

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gunsSEATTLE — In the days since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, there has been a lot of talk about how to keep kids safe at school.

Some people say the answer is to put guns in the schools. That way, the argument goes, teachers and other school workers have a fighting chance against an armed attacker.

The debate is as contentious as the gun control debate itself.

Gun rights advocates in Utah are offering free gun training for teachers. Utah Shooting Sports Council says the 200-person, six-hour course was filled to capacity.

“I want to be able to protect my children in case of any assault, any bad guys coming in to attack,” teacher Cori Sorenson said.

In an effort to arm teachers at schools, a firearms group in Ohio is also launching a test program in gun training.

And in Arizona, the state’s attorney general is proposing a change to state law.

There are people with guns inside banks, malls, and government buildings, so Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says that under the right conditions, “Why not put gun in hands of qualified individuals in our children’s schools?”

“On the one hand, you have people proposing that any teacher that wants to can bring a gun to school. I think that would create more danger than it would solve and I’m opposed to that. You have other people who don’t want to do anything for defense in the schools and I think we would regret that if there was another incident that might have been prevented,” said Horne.

Some law enforcement officers support the idea.

“If you have somebody come in that’s mentally ill with a weapon and killing people, an administrator or teacher can figure that out,” said Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

The move comes after the recent shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Gun-rights advocates say teachers can act more quickly than law enforcement in the critical first few minutes to protect children during a school shooting.

But some teachers strongly disagree with the idea.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t think that teachers should be carrying guns. I don’t think violence is the answer. And the biggest thing I don’t think is I don’t think it’s going to solve the problem,” Kansas City Teachers Union President Andrea Flinders said.

So what about here in Washington state?

Could teachers here be allowed to carry guns in the classroom?

After all, the state has its own sad history of school shootings.

“This state has not been immune to school shootings. We had one in Moses Lake School District,Tacoma School District and an accidental shooting in the Bremerton School District,” state Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn said.

Still, Dorn says no to teachers carrying guns — not on his watch.

“That would not be something on my list to support,” Dorn said. “I think hiring people who are trained to have a gun, that would be the solution — police officers on campus, not arming our teachers.”

Only two states currently allow concealed weapons in schools. In Utah, its already legal, and in Ohio a school district has to give permission first.

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  • thinking about it

    what is the difference between a police officer who has been trained to carry a gun and a teacher who has the same training? or instead of the same training a very specialized training to what they might encounter while protecting their students while an officer must be trained to any type of encounter.

    you can't stop all of the crazies with laws,

    I would be happy if teachers had psych evaluations and specialized firearm training, then be allowed to carry concealed on their person while in class. having them loaded but no round chambered cuts the risk of accidental discharge.

    what i disagree with is the idea of openly armed guards in schools, this lets anyone who is up to no good know who his first targets are while turning our schools into a prison camp.

    I also disagree with the notion of a gun free zone where only the criminals are allowed to carry guns.

    • Just my opinion

      I will answer your first question, different between teacher armed. They are both danger some ways. I am a student so I have idea being in experience with teacher.what about when teacher is so angry with the student and want to punish him and just shoot the person.that is too dangerous.

  • mnbbrown1993

    Arming teachers is not the answer. If they wanted to do that type of work they would have become police officers. You have to look at the mental state and if they would actually be able to pull that trigger, especially if it was one of their own students that was the threat. It could actually make things worse and the liability alone is frightening. Police officers go through hundreds of hours of training, it isn't just a marksmen and safety class. And not everyone makes it through, either because of the inability to become proficient with a firearm or a moral issue. The solution is fortifying entrances and placing school resource officers in every school. No one wants a prison type setting but the question everyone should ask themselves is what more important? My childrens safety or their freedom of movement in and out of the school? Security measures are designed as a permanent change to affect the possibility of a threat. Which means that 99% of the time it looks excessive to prevent the 1% of the time something happens.

  • mnbbrown1993

    Can't have your cake and eat it too. Armed guards are not the answer either, unless they were retired police officers or off duty, I really don't want my child protected by the 21 y/o who just got his armed security guard license. A reinforced vestibule with balistic glass at the main entrance for visitors and all other exits are locked from the outside and when opened from the inside, an alarm sounds since it should be an emergency exit only situation. Visitors are let in by staff as needed and a meeting room for staff to meet with visitors in the vestibule area to limit their access to the rest of the school. Its not rocket science

  • Citizen98107

    An armed teacher wouldn't have prevented the accidental shooting at the Bemerton elementary school earlier this year. The young victim barely survived a shot to the stomach.

  • ABC Intelligence

    Great. Arm the teachers (they'll have to wear it on their hip to be effective), thereby making them the FIRST target(s).

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