Teachers should be allowed to carry guns in schools. NYC public schools and schools all over the nation are not safe enough. Most NYC public schools, like BSGE, have a few safety officers, most of whom are not even armed.
(Read the article by Neha M ’14 about why teacher’s at BSGE should not be armed)
Being shot at school is probably one of the worst places to spend the last fleeting seconds of life. This is especially true if the last image that accompanies death is probably the sight of a textbook that briefly catches one’s eye or the last thought is concerned with work. The fact of the matter is no one wants to die, let alone in school. Other schools, in crime stricken neighborhoods, have one or two armed guards, along with metal detectors. However, the truth is that
if a quite, suburban Connecticut town can be the sight of a mass shooting, so can any school in NYC, and a safety officer, whose greatest weapon probably amounts to a notepad, is not going to protect anybody. Then again, placing ten armed guards with metal detectors at each entrance will only gives the feeling of a maximum security prison to each school. Arming teachers, after proper training of course, would seem the logical thing to do as they provide a body of potential safety officers less menacing than armed guards. After all not only are teachers responsible for educating the youth, but they are also entrusted with the implicit responsibility of protecting them (many children and adolescents are under the care of teachers for longer than their own parents). It would make sense to provide teachers and faculty with the means necessary to protect their students.
The problem that is associated with most mass shootings is the amount of time that it takes for them to be carried out. Any individual with the intention to kill and the capabilities to do so will not need much time to commit the crime. The window of time between the first shot fired and the arrival of the first responders is the period during which most, if not all, of the deaths during public shootings occur. Crowded hallways and classrooms (especially those at BSGE) create potential targets out of both students and teachers alike, making it so that only a few minutes are necessary to bring an end to many lives. Since it really is not possible to decrease the response time of the first responders, another alternative must be used in order to pacify a dangerous situation and to do so rapidly. Arming teachers would provide vital first responders to the situation. If teachers are armed, not only is it possible to stop an incident from occurring, as an individual is less likely to carry out an assault knowing that teachers have guns, but it could also drastically alter the extent to which a situation escalates.
Guns and teachers are a necessary combination to ensure the protection of our students. Teachers already have a set of skills that they can implement during tumultuous situations; some teachers are trained to administer CPR. Arming teachers would only add to their repertoire of devices necessary for use during drastic situations. However, it is important to see beyond the obvious applications of guns within the school setting. With the knowledge that teachers are armed and trained, the student productivity level would drastically increase. Despite some minor draw backs such as class participation and enthusiasm, students overall are likely to become more diligent and less delinquent. The applications are endless.
Nevertheless, arming teachers would call for many others measures to be taken. First and foremost, not all teachers should be forced to arm themselves. Those who wish to arm themselves should pass extensive and wide ranging background checks before a firearm is to be administered. Teachers that are armed also should have some experience firing their weapon, which means that they should visit a firing range once or a twice every year. Only handguns should be administered so as to allow for easy concealment and storage. Teachers should not be allowed to carry guns with them but instead the weapons should be concealed in undisclosed locations across each floor of the school and retrieved when necessary. Only teachers who have necessary training should be able to retrieve the firearms. There should be a strategic placement of firearms across each floor so as to allow for immediate accessibility. The places where the firearms are concealed along with the various staff and teachers trained to use them should never be disclosed to the student body. Likewise these areas should not be in areas of a great deal of student activity. If firearms are introduced in BSGE and the implementation comes with a sort of system as the one described above, then firearms present within the school setting would not seem that menacing of an idea.
Although arming teachers may seem like a radical approach to defend people against gun violence, desperate times call for desperate measures. The reality is that BSGE is as susceptible to an attack as Sandy Hook Elementary was. Having a few guns in the school certainly would provide a sense of protection, especially since the current state of BSGE’s security means having students duck in the corner of classrooms to avoid detection, which not only makes students an easy target but is also susceptible to failure. It certainly will not fool a killer.