Armed teachers: not effective


SHS students walkout for Parkland. Photo courtesy of Rishi Narahari.

Melissa Lim, Contributing Writer

With more and more school shootings going on, the debate of having armed teachers in school has been an increasingly present issue. Many protests and walkouts to end school shootings have taken place. Having armed teachers in school will create more fear for students and possibly even some teachers. It’ll cause more harm than safety because teachers are supposed to teach, not suddenly become a police officer in their classrooms. At Solon High School (SHS), armed teachers are not the answer.

It’s safe to say none of us want another school shooting to happen, but the real question is, is it safer bringing guns into schools? There are students, even parents, that are scared to come to school because of shootings alone.

Mary Clare Lane, a Government teacher at SHS, thinks gun in school should not be permitted.

“We have acts that make schools gun free zones in most states across the country that prohibits to have anyone armed on campus except for law enforcement personnel,” Lane said. “So first it’s compliance with the law. Second, there are already cases of teachers that have guns in school and accidentally discharging their weapons in the classroom. We’re supposed to be there to protect students, but they can also cause harm intentionally and unintentionally.”

Lane believes having armed teachers is not and will not be effective until the teachers get hundreds of hours of training like real police officers. Having teachers putting in more time every day for training doesn’t make any sense when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, which is teaching.

On the other hand, Devyn Sutter, a junior at SHS, is strongly for armed teachers. She thinks it would increase the amount of safety if a shooter were to come into the school building.

“With the number of teachers that we have, them being armed could easily overpower the shooter,” Sutter said.

Nevertheless, some teachers don’t feel comfortable around guns and could possibly get too overwhelmed. Who knows how the teachers will act if they were armed in front of a school shooter? What if they shoot someone totally innocent by accident because they were getting scared and not paying enough attention?

Sutter also mentions how teachers could use their guns for protection if stuck in a room during a lockdown drill. Just thinking about it, even if a teacher had the state of mind to protect students by bringing it out, it’ll make them feel more scared with guns around them in school. Think about it. If a student is already scared to go to school because of shootings, then how would adding guns in the building help relieve them?

Darian Hicks, former SHS student now Security Guard, feels as if there are a lot of issues with having teachers armed.

“Armed teachers can create a lot of chaos the school doesn’t need,” Hicks said. “If a shooter were to come into the school, teachers won’t be in the right state of mind to protect everyone like a certified police officer.”

When Hicks was a student back in 2013, school shootings didn’t happen as often as today. To Hicks, the security within the school now makes him comfortable and he doesn’t think the school requires armed teachers.

SHS has recently started to bring Solon police officers into the school to increase the feeling of protection throughout the building. It’s a lot better to have real police officers instead of trying to make our teachers into one by handing them guns.

“I can see where the initial response where some would say if a teacher would have had a gun [a shooting] wouldn’t have happened, but what some people don’t look at is what if a teacher had a gun and they could’ve been a victim?” Lane said. “A teacher could’ve had a gun and missed the target, a teacher could’ve had a gun and with the cast and confusion accidentally shot a student.”

What if a student gets hold of a gun? What if a student could’ve been the shooter, they’d probably find a way to get access to the gun. Even if the guns were kept in a safe with a lock, it does not necessarily mean everyone would automatically feel safer. What if an active shooter came into the school and it takes the teacher forever to get the gun out? What good would that do?

Every school shooting ends the same: people die and people suffer. Parents are afraid to send their kids to school. Students are afraid to just go to school. That’s the last thing anyone wants to happen. That does not mean we get to hand people guns just so we can feel more protected. Hire police officers to guard the doors, increase security or make sure everyone coming in and out has a real reason to. There are many ways to stop school shooting from happening, but handing teachers guns is most definitely not a viable one.