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Is arming our teachers the best way to truly protect our children?

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Is arming our teachers the best way to truly protect our children?

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Round 1

Side 1: Recently, there’s been a push to arm teachers in order to make schools safer in the event of a shooting. How is this even being considered? There are so many reasons why this won’t work. One important reason is also a very simple one: more guns in a school means more chances of an accident taking place. There would be more chances of a kid grabbing the gun, either to play with it or to use it in earnest, and the results would be terrible. Perhaps if the guns were kept away from the kids, like they are in schools where certain licensed teachers can carry weapons, it would lessen the risk. Even so, that likely means that the guns would be locked away, and thus harder to access for defense reasons. Or the teacher would have to carry it with them constantly and always be aware of anyone who might try to take it from them. Isn’t it enough that our school teachers must often educate and discipline more students than any one person should handle? Must we really make them into security forces, both from and for the kids, as well?

Side 2: While this method is questionable, it can be considered, provided the solution is efficient and free of issues. And the issues mentioned in the cons argument were about kids gaining access to guns, the ease of access to guns in the event of a shooting, and the burden on teachers. While guns must be stored in a secure place to prevent misuse, they do not have to be immediately accessible. If placed in secure and strategic locations around the school, they can be accessed if a shooting is suspected. It is also true that a teacher holding firearms might not react quickly enough to a shooter who is sudden, unsuspecting and swift. Hence it would require action from teachers in other locations of the school who would be ready to defend. While teachers are definitely not security forces, they merely must learn to protect themselves and the children, being the oldest and wisest in the building, like being prepared for a fire or earthquake. Until further security measures are invented, teachers are an option (not necessarily the best) to take initiative in a shooting.

Round 2

Side 1: There are a couple of problems with arming teachers instead of security guards. One is that teachers aren’t necessarily prepared for defending their students like that. Do they have to defend them anyway? Considering recent tragedies, yes, of course. Would training help? Probably. Would it be enough if we only trained the talented ones? Maybe. Is training and arming teachers a cheaper option than security guards? Estimates show that it’s possible. But what are those costs and how does this play out? Would the training include the technical instructions but not coaching of the mental fortitude necessary? How would schools determine which teachers are capable of being these defenders when it’s quite possible that some of these teachers might one day snap? How can we believe that adding more guns won’t increase injuries due to friendly fire? How will schools be able to afford this when so many of them can’t even stock up a classroom with necessary tools, leaving, according to the Department of Education, 94 percent of the nation’s teachers to buy hundreds of dollars worth of things themselves? While kids definitely deserve the best protection we can give them, at this point it might just be safer and cheaper for kids to learn via online schools. Or maybe, we can stop arguing about how to treat the symptoms of this issue and finally treat the disease: easy access to guns.

Side 2: Schools are more or less businesses operating on a budget. If teachers were armed, it would be a low-cost preventive measure. There wouldn’t be a need to spend on salaried security personnel, or advanced security systems with periodic bills. With a person to check for weapons at the gate of a school, it is almost guaranteed that shootings will be prevented (assuming teachers don’t misuse the firearms available only to them and assuming there are no other clear points of entry). This internal solution (arming teachers) causes them to learn self-defense, keeping them in a better position to protect themselves in other life-threatening situations. Also according to Fox News, an anonymous rural Ohio language arts teacher spoke about the fulfillment from the chance to save lives of children when armed: an argument that may appeal to only some teachers.

Side 2 argued by Ajay Vasu

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Is arming our teachers the best way to truly protect our children?