Should we arm teachers?

After the Parkland shooting, some government officials support the proposal


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BY ERIKA NORTON

In response to the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead and numerous injured, how to prevent school shootings and make schools safer has become one of the most prevalent topics of discussion throughout the country. One potential solution suggested by government officials, including President Donald Trump himself, is to arm teachers.

Currently, in New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it is illegal to carry a firearm onto school grounds unless you are a sworn police officer.

Recently, a teacher’s aide from Warwick was fired after she was arrested for bringing a loaded 9mm handgun to a Rockland County BOCES school. Police arrested the teacher’s aide, charging her with criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, a Class E felony in New York State.

But some commenters on social media think that teachers should be able to carry firearms at school to potentially defend against an active shooter.

The National Rifle Association supports this proposal, and in a number of meetings and on Twitter, President Trump has voiced his support as well.

“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 24. “Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”

Some states already allow itSince 2013, in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., legislation in states across the country has sought to arm school staff. At least 12 states allow staff members to possess or have access to a firearm on school grounds, according to an analysis by the Education Commission of the States.

These states include Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wyoming, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Ohio, Utah, Idaho, and now Florida. In response to the Parkland shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a state law on March 9 that allows teachers to arm themselves at school.

Arkansas and Oklahoma only permit private schools to allow firearms on the school grounds. Some of these laws require a certain amount of training before the teacher can carry at school.

A number of teachers on social media have expressed their opposition to the idea of arming teachers, with some posting about how they would rather be armed with more school supplies or more funding for education than a firearm.

What do you think? Are you in favor of allowing teachers to carry firearms at school?

Click here to take our reader survey.



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