I’m no longer an active classroom teacher, so you might wonder if I even have a right to weigh in on the question of arming teachers to prevent school shootings. However, as a second-generation teacher, I have strong opinions on the subject.
And I’m strongly against it.
Let me be really clear on that. I stand with the teachers’ associations who’ve come out against the idea with a pretty unanimous voice. If you want to read a really snarky voice that totally tells it like it is, check out this reality check, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In my recent studies of police, their tactics, and their approaches to security, I’ve learned nothing that contradicts this opinion. Most police don’t want teachers armed, either. Why not? Well, consider this dilemma:
People don’t know how they’ll react in an emergency. Police understand this. They train and train–but the real thing is disorienting. And the questions that arise are not easy.
With all due respect to Mr. Trump, running into a dangerous situation (especially untrained and unarmed) would simply increase the confusion. There are enough problems when personnel are both armed and trained.
|Remember Fort Hood? Remember how that went down?|
There’s also the mundane but very real problem of liability. If your school district’s insurance rates suddenly shoot up the moment they arm the teachers in the classrooms–in today’s climate of austere budgets–what responsible superintendent would move forward with the idea?
For me and for a great many other teachers, the idea that armed teachers are a credible deterrent to school shooters is ludicrous. It’s not where our heads are at. Shoot to kill a student or former student? Are you crazy?
Most of us would still be standing between him and the rest of the class, trying to “talk him down,” till the bitter end. If you’ll recall, “between the shooter and the class” is where a great many teachers have been killed.
There are always a few who defy the generalizations. But let me assure you, “crossfire” is a real thing, teachers’ unquenchable faith that students can be reached is a real thing, and in general, the unwisdom of arming classroom teachers as a deterrent to schools shootings, is ALSO a very, VERY real thing.