In our recent blog entry School Violence – Difficult Times Require Strong Action, 3/27/18, we highlighted the need to take action regarding school shootings using a methodical and responsible approach. One action we did not recommend or agree with is arming teachers. This can be viewed as a strong effort to increase security at schools, and arguing against this position can be anathema to those who think otherwise and want to protect the second amendment at any cost.
A recent article published by the Associated Press titled More than 30 mishaps from armed adults at schools further and clearly highlights the perils and unintended consequences of moving in the direction of arming teachers.
As an example, in a firearm related incident in March, a teacher in California was demonstrating firearm safety when he had an unintentional discharge of the firearm putting a round in the ceiling of the room he was in. This incident resulted in the injury of three students who luckily were only hit by falling debris. In a separate incident, a sheriff deputy left a loaded service weapon in a locker room at a Michigan middle school, where a sixth-grader found it.
Placing guns in the hands of educators in environments as sensitive as schools has the potential to yield results such as those mentioned above and covered in the AP article.
So, is arming teachers the answer?
We don’t think so.
TAL Global’s position remains focused on working with educational institutions to detect, mitigate and implement sensible solutions to prevent school violence. A list of recommendations based on our extensive work in this area over many years is listed below:
- Every school should undergo a risk assessment audit by professionals.
- Access to school grounds should be controlled and monitored in a more structured and robust way.
- Staff should undergo active shooter response training.
- Every school should establish a “Rapid Response Team” that will be trained to respond to suspected and evolving threats.
- Schools should enhance their resilience by conducting simulations and drills facilitated by professionals, and with active participation of local law enforcement and first responders.
- Schools should undertake proactive measures to reduce crisis-causing situations such as bullying and marginalization, which are often precursors to more extreme violence.
- Except for law enforcement and security professionals, all schools should become or remain “Gun-Free Zones”.
As always, we value your feedback which helps us shape our perspective on recent events.
Do you support or oppose arming teachers? We’d like to know.
Feel free to email us your thoughts: [email protected]