Traditionally thought of as gun-free zones, some schools are now allowing teachers to carry guns in classrooms— an effort that is meant to increase school safety, particularly when it comes to stopping school shootings. But this move is sparking controversy nationwide, as many opponents question whether arming teachers with guns would actually make schools safer.
TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate controversial topics and share their voices.
KQED Learn: https://learn.kqed.org/discussions/49
What are the main arguments for allowing teachers to carry guns at school?
Some arguments in favor of arming teachers include that if teachers had guns, they would actually be able to defend against an attack — potentially minimizing deaths. Supporters often point to instances where armed bystanders have stopped shootings in other places. Additionally, arming teachers could act as a deterrent— if potential shooters knew teachers were armed, they may be less likely to carry out an attack.
What are the main arguments against allowing teachers to carry guns at school?
Many opponents worry that there’s too much potential for something to go wrong if you allow teachers to carry guns. What happens if a student gets ahold of a teacher’s gun, or if they accidentally shoot an innocent bystander. There’s also concern that a teacher could misinterpret a student’s actions and shoot at someone unnecessarily, and this is especially a concern for students of color— where research shows they are disproportionately disciplined more than white students. Could implicit racial bias lead to a teacher unnecessarily shooting at a student of color? There’s also concern that training and arming teachers is expensive and could take funding away from other academic or school safety resources.
Should Teachers Carry Guns? The Debate, Explained (EdWeek) https://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/arming-teachers.html
Arming Schoolteachers: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go From Here? (American Journal of Public Health) https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304464