Should Teachers Be Armed?

February 27, 2018

In response to the school shooting on February 14 in Parkland, Florida, President Trump, gun rights groups including the NRA, and some local citizens have suggested arming teachers and other school officials to deter and respond to school shootings.

Students at Tyrone High School have also been debating this topic with their friends, teachers, and classmates.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Arm Our Teachers With…

President Trump told a group of students and family members affected by gun violence on Wednesday, February 21 that he would support arming our teachers and coaches as a way to stop mass shootings like the one that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida.

The problem is, the teachers don’t want to be armed. Not with guns. Our teachers signed up to be educators, not armed guards ready to take that kill shot on a student they have nurtured and educated for years.

We’ve always heard, “The only way to stop a bad guy is a good guy with a gun.” In the case of Parkland Florida, there were four “good guys” with a gun. There were four armed sheriffs on the scene, trained for this situation. They didn’t act. Four Broward County Sheriff Deputies did not enter the building while teachers and students were being slaughtered.

If a trained police force didn’t take action, how can we expect a history teacher to look a student in the eye and fire off a kill shot?

Our teachers signed up to be educators, not armed guards ready to take that kill shot on a student they have nurtured and educated for years.”

If teachers had guns in the school, there would inevitably be accidental shootings. A teacher in a Pennsylvania Christian school in Chambersburg accidentally left her loaded pistol in an elementary school bathroom. Children, ages 6 and 8, found it and reported it to their parents and another teacher. The results could have been tragic. A teacher at a Utah Elementary School accidentally shot herself in the leg while using the restroom. While an Idaho professor accidentally shot himself in the foot.

Fortunately, in all these cases, no students were harmed.

Let’s imagine there was an active shooter in the school, the SWAT team comes with guns blazing into the school and tries to determine who has the gun. SWAT sees a person with a gun, they feel threatened, there is chaos, and they pull the trigger. Later it’s determined that the person was the school beloved English teacher who was just trying to “protect the children.”

Moreover, most school shooters are already prepared to die by police officers, so now it will be death by the football coach. How is this a deterrent?

We don’t live in a wealthy school district. Spending has been cut on educational programs. Our teachers don’t always have the necessary supplies they need to run their classrooms. Every year, teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for things like tissues, pencils, paper and glue sticks. Now, President Trump is waving some extra money around to the teachers to train them to be an armed security force. Where was this money when we needed it for education? What will the insurance premiums look like for a school district that decides to arm teachers? Someone is going to need to pay for it.  Property taxes will have to be raised to make up for the higher premiums.

Of course, it seems everyone has an opinion about arming teachers but forgot to ask, well, the teachers.

Here’s what a few longtime educators in our school had to say:

“I am against arming teachers. I feel like it’s adding more danger,” said TAHS Principal Thomas Yoder, “What if a student wrestles the gun away from a teacher? Most school shootings happen in five minutes or less. The teacher would have to have the gun strapped on and loaded. Odds are, the gunman will already be gone.”

“I don’t think teachers should be armed. I think if we should have anybody be armed, it should be trained professionals guarding the school. Our teachers shouldn’t have to be trained. There is a big difference between training and experience,” said Economics/World Geography teacher Cummins McNitt.

“I understand why some people want to have teachers armed, and I’m honored that students and members of the community trust us enough to do such a thing, but I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to ask teachers to add security guard/policeman to their already long list of job responsibilities,” said social studies teacher and Eagle Eye adviser Todd Cammarata.

“We are here to be educators,” said Mrs. Cynthia Isenberg.

So if not guns, what should we arm our teachers with?

Arm our teachers with resources to be able to educate their students.

Arm them with time to be able to develop relationships with their students and spot possible issues with anyone being bullied.

Arm them with mental health counselors at the school who can work with troubled students.

Parents, arm them with your attention, put down your phone and listen to the teacher when they say that they are seeing a problem with your child in the classroom.

Teachers came into this job because they love learning. Give them the resources to be able to do their job effectively. If you want an armed security team, hire one.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Photo of Morgan Bridges
Morgan Bridges, Social Media Director

Senior Morgan Bridges is a four year Eagle Eye veteran. She is the Eagle Eye's Social Media Director for the second year in a row.  She is involved in...

31 Comments

When commenting, please use your FULL NAME and a VALID email address. If you are a TASD student please use your school email address. Comments without names and valid email addresses may not be published. Thank you and please comment responsibly!

  1. Benedict DelBaggio on February 27th, 2018 10:04 am

    Agreed, if they wanted more armed guards in our school, they should look toward hiring someone like our Officer Bub instead of paying for the guns and ammo of the many teachers in every school.

  2. Benedict DelBaggio on February 27th, 2018 11:30 am

    I see what you mean, but in my opinion more officers will work in the long run since not only would they help in an active shooter situation by trying to stop the shooter instead of hiding in classrooms like teacher would with guns, but they can help with normal operations by helping enforce school rules and other laws.

  3. Zachary Neff on February 27th, 2018 11:53 am

    Even if it is a student that they have “nurtured” and “educated”, buy not stopping them they are risking the lives of their entire class. The kid that decided to enter the school with a weapon, no matter the weapon, made the decision to kill. Our teachers need concealed firearms.

  4. Kate Davis on February 27th, 2018 12:41 pm

    Morgan–thank you for your eloquence. You and I share many of the same ideas on this subject. And I appreciate you going to those who would be most affected–our teachers.
    Well reasoned.

  5. Frances Hugg on February 27th, 2018 1:47 pm

    Combat veterans in the United States have come out consistently against this policy of arming teachers as a terrible idea. And it is telling that the students of Parkland and the other schools that have experienced gun violence are against the idea of arming teachers, as are the teachers unions throughout the United States. NO GOOD GUY WITH A GUN HAS EVER STOPPED A MASS SHOOTING ANYWHERE! THAT IS NRA PROPAGANDA! Most schools shooters have bought their guns legally, but at gun shows, where the dealers ignore background checks and it is possible for anyone to give the dealer money and walk away with a gun! (Perhaps you have seen the expose of a 13 year old getting a gun without a single question being asked, from a gun show dealer!) If we want to stop gun violence, we need to ban all gun sales from gun shows and private individuals. Ban bump stocks, all automatic and semi-automatic gun sales, and their ammo, plus large magazines on guns sold. We need to ban gun sales to anyone under 21. We need strict universal background checks, and no dealer giving a gun to anyone until that background check comes through! Dylan Roof was given his gun before the background check had been completed, which negates doing such a check, and certainly did in his case! Arming teachers in our schools would only turn every
    school into the gunfight at the OK Coral, something we certainly don’t want!

  6. Jeremy Byers on February 28th, 2018 8:45 am

    It is very false that “no good guy with a gun has stopped a mass shooting”, I would love to know where you got that information from. Raising the age to 21 will do nothing, I am almost 16 and have access to multiple firearms in my house. Think of all the others under 18 who do, there will always be another way to get a gun, it will be like this forever.

  7. Martin Bakner on February 28th, 2018 10:05 am

    In response to Jeremy Byers (who was reacting to Frances Hugg), perhaps the proper quote would be “no civilian good guy with a gun has stopped a mass shooting”.
    The NRA wants us to believe that it can happen, but there is no empirical evidence to make their case.

  8. Devon Henninger on February 28th, 2018 11:08 am

    Not to be rude. But the whole “no good guy with a gun has stopped a mass shooting”. Is factually false. Doing about a minute of research I found a pair of sources that prove a good guy with a gun has stopped what could’ve been a mass murder.

    http://wnep.com/2013/10/15/guilty-plea-entered-in-plymouth-shooting-death/

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-uber-driver-shoots-gunman-met-0420-20150419-story.html

    The first one is about William Allabaugh who shot and killed Stephen Hollman and Scott Luzetsky(who later died) in Luzerene County. He was stopped in that spree, not by the police but by a civilian who had a CCP.

    The second one was an Uber driver in Chicago. He used a weapon to stop a dangerous armed individual.

  9. Hanna Denny on February 28th, 2018 11:51 am

    Personally, I agree with Morgan in which I believe teachers should not be armed. I understand how people can have the view point of wanting them in order to fend off an armed attacker, but in an instance of a school shooting, people are going to get injured and killed anyway. A teacher trying to defend their students puts kids at a higher risk of being shot due to a potential misfire; when officers are added into the equation trying to take down the perpetrator, how are they to know who the enemy is when multiple people have guns going off? Furthermore, whats stopping a deranged student from stealing that gun from the teacher?

    The risk is simply too high for the reward. I simply believe that anyone wishing to buy a gun go through a extensive background check and mental health check and then go through a month long waiting period to obtain a gun. Along with this, assault rifles should be banned. To quote the ex-Marine from a New York Times article: “The military issue M-16 is the model for the AR-15 assault rifle that the accused shooter used to kill 17 people this month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The shooter bought the weapon lawfully. He received zero hours of mandated training. There is no reason that any civilian, of any age, should possess this rifle.”

  10. Luke Brenneman on February 28th, 2018 11:52 am

    I agree, arming the teachers would not do anything. They are not killers, they just want to teach
    their students to the best of their ability. In the event of a mass shooting, will they really be able to kill their own student, I don’t think so.

  11. Mia Kosoglow on February 28th, 2018 11:53 am

    I agree with you on this matter. Arming MORE people isn’t the solution to these school shootings. There are too many risks in doing so. To solve this problem, we need to look at the root of it. The responsibility shouldn’t lie in the teacher’s hands, but the hands holding the guns in the first place. Just like 2 wrongs don’t make a right, more guns don’t decrease the amount of shootings.

  12. Nathan Walk on February 28th, 2018 11:54 am

    Yes, I feel that arming teachers wouldn’t be ideal, but we need to have some type of armed professional in the school. Yes, we do have Officer Bub, but again, he is just one person. If we get more people like him to protect us, I personally would feel safer in the school.

  13. Emily Detwiler on February 28th, 2018 11:54 am

    In your article, you only used teachers that were against arming teachers. Did all of the teachers that you talked to agree that firearms should not be inn school? I believe that teachers should be armed. They should have protection for not only themselves, but for their students. In all of your examples of concealed firearms going off, no students were harmed. That should be a risk that teachers should be willing to take. They should want to protect their kids.

  14. Grace LeGars on February 28th, 2018 11:55 am

    Officer Bub isn’t going to be able to protect the kids being shot in the elementary school if he is in the highschool. If teachers, or at least some more individuals, have a gun on them, lives could be saved. They will already be on the scene and can draw their gun as soon as the shooter draws theirs.

  15. Cate Baran on February 28th, 2018 11:59 am

    I agree with this. Teachers are here to teach not to carry guns. If they wanted to carry a gun they would have joined the forces.

  16. Megan Dale on February 28th, 2018 12:03 pm

    I think that actually, we should use security measures to produce a safer environment in and throughout the school. You said that “We don’t live in a wealthy school district. Spending has been cut on educational programs.” Which is only partly true. We do actually live in a wealthy district, being the only one, in fact, that is not in debt but this is never shown to us. We are led to believe that we are poor. This is terrible but the Tyrone Council has yet to speak on this… But if we did have access to this money we could use it to hire another person like Officer Bub. This is the solution. Use the metal detectors that we never pull out to stop just any adult from walking into the school on a push of a button. It is ridiculous that we spent so much money on them and NEVER use them for anything.
    I agree that teachers came here to be teachers. Their jobs are for teaching students, not to become a cop. It is insulting to think that teachers should be in charge of the students’ safety when we have officers who are trained to do things like this in a stressful situation. Not to mention that if we did give teachers guns, it would cause more trouble and fear in the students than without them!

    I did this for rutter’s class. Also, love ya, Morgan!

  17. Ally Jones on February 28th, 2018 12:15 pm

    I agree, teachers became teachers so they could educate kids, not to become the police officers of the school.

  18. Tyler Beckwith on February 28th, 2018 12:23 pm

    I would say that you provide a good point. Hiring more security. I agree with you on that point, but your other points I would have to disagree with. Your statement on the money aspect of the topic is easily disproven. You say you would rather hire a security guard then giving the teachers a pay raise if they carry? It would cost more to hire an armed guard than paying for safety courses, and a few firearms. Again not every teacher needs to have a gun. Also personally, if I was a parent and sent my kids to school every day. I would gladly pay slightly higher taxes to pay for some training courses and some guns, and I am sure you would too.
    Also, you go on to talk about accidental gun shootings. This is a very rare case. One could say that we should ban cars because kids get run over. No nobody says that because it is very rare, and honestly would be more common than an accidental gun shooting. The shootings you used as an example were all careless accidents that could have been prevented. All it takes something called the safety. If the safety is on then the gun will not fire what so ever. It is that simple, and if you still don’t feel safe enough then why don’t we put them in a locked place where students do not know where or how to get into it. I have never heard of a gun magically going off. Even when it is dropped.
    That is my opinion on the article

  19. Joel Groseclose on February 28th, 2018 12:26 pm

    I agree that forcing guns upon teachers will add chaos into the matter. I believe that there are better ways to help prevent the matter. Teachers should not be used as a defense system to protect the kids. There are people who’s job it is to already do that. I do believe that there is ways teachers can help to prevent matters. Teachers are not trained to use guns and should not be forced to do so.

  20. Nick on February 28th, 2018 1:21 pm

    The government won’t pay for the guns or training, nor will it be mandatory for all staff to have a weapon, only volunteers who already have experience with firearms, the weapon itself, and the permit to carry will have these weapons.

  21. Brent j Mcneel on February 28th, 2018 2:20 pm

    I don’t think that all teachers should have guns, I’m more in favor of increased security.

  22. Ebonee Rice on February 28th, 2018 2:23 pm

    I think to arm our educators with firearms would be a colossal mistake. I understand that we are living in dangerous, often terrifying time, but giving our teachers guns would just produce more issues. Many schools don’t have the resources to provide educators with a thorough background on guns. They don’t have the money or the time to ensure that teachers are well equipped to handle a gun. Also, even if we have armed teachers it doesn’t ensure a completely safe environment. Giving teachers guns would just give students more opportunities to get their hands on a firearm. If someone didn’t have a firearm at home to cause harm, they have access to one in the school. If parents can somehow forget to properly lock and secure their guns, why couldn’t teachers? Continuing on, arming teachers only creates more risks for student lives. These armed teachers have little to no experience with being under fire. An accident could easily occur, harming even more people than before. They could misfire and shoot another student or teacher. They could even harm themselves. The dangers are endless. Even considering an environment with armed teachers, it still doesn’t guarantee anyone will take action. At the Parkland shooting, there were several armed and trained individuals who made no move to attack the shooter. Teachers have even less training, and you expect them to shoot a student they’ve taught and befriended?
    Our attention shouldn’t be on arming teachers but should be focused on preventing a situation where armed guards would be needed. Give us metal detectors or more proper screening. Give us more security. Prevent those students from ever getting their hands on a gun in the first place. To arm, teachers are like providing a temporary cure that could harm more than it could help. What we need is a vaccine; something to prevent that school shooter from even getting a gun in the first place. What we need is gun control. I understand people have rights to bear firearms, but everyone has a right to feel safe.

  23. Alicia Endress on February 28th, 2018 2:26 pm

    Teachers decide to become teachers to teach and have a positive impact on the next generation. They should not have to worry about making sure a small child or mentally unstable teenager doesn’t get their hands on a gun that is readily available in the classroom at all times. Instead of arming teachers, we should improve security by utilizing metal dectectors and hire more security if needed.

  24. Madison on February 28th, 2018 2:30 pm

    I completely agree. Teachers did not sign up to carry a gun. They signed up to help students learn and grow. It should not be on them to protect our school.

  25. Nick Vasbinder on February 28th, 2018 4:43 pm

    It’s hard for me to agree on a lot of what’s stated, however, like Tyler, I do agree with more armed security. I also do agree with with not having to arm teachers. The only case where I would absolutely agree with arming every single teacher in the entire school/schools is if there happens to be a nationwide school threat spree. What I mean by that is that if threatening schools becomes a normality, then we need to precaution we possibly can.
    I’m more than just a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment, and I do not believe weapons like the ArmaLite rifles should be strictly prohibited from existing. A weapon like the AR-15 used in multiple school shootings is not to blame; this is entirely a people issue. A normal human being doesn’t kill for sport. Animals don’t even kill for sport, they kill because they need to survive by eating and protecting itself. An animal who kills for sport has some kind of sickness that affects their mental wellbeing, and that’s virtually what’s happening with these school shootings. People who have ignored and developed mental disabilities are isolating themselves, driving themselves to a boredom filled insanity, and going out to kill for sport; just like a sick animal.
    Any teacher I’ve ever spoken to about the subject never wants to have to face a situation where they may have to fire upon or possibly kill one of their own children. I believe in a full support of many more security guards monitoring our schools, the elementary schools especially. Crime will always seep through the cracks of law, and there isn’t a way we can prevent these individuals from developing into these killers, but we do have every ability to prevent another tragedy from occurring. If this means we arm our schools to the teeth with security to frighten these murderers, then that may be what we have to do before this crisis can be averted.
    I also believe that when you look between the safety of a school’s children, and a pile of dollar bills, it should automatically be the decision to sacrifice some money to ensure that the children in our schools can come and go to school not fearing what may be around the corner when leaving English class. I don’t feel safe in school, I don’t feel secure, and if a school decides that saving a buck is the better idea than keep the kids, who are just here to learn, safe, then they have lost my respect.
    There is a solution to every problem, however problems lay on top of other problems, and it will be years of untangling society before we can solve everything; what we can do now though, is start at the surface and dig downward to the surface. This school thrives with children who are sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, best friends, and role models, and if even one of them was removed due to the fact that security, or any form of protection, wasn’t there to save them, then those who decided to keep that protection away will have to live with that. I have a sister who goes to school every single day, and I should not have to worry every single minute I’m not swamped in school work if she’s okay. A brighter future lies ahead of all of us, all that it will take is a little bit of agreement, and God knows we need some agreement right about now.

  26. Daniel Parker on February 28th, 2018 4:46 pm

    I believe it’s clear to all of us that we need increased security in our schools. To some, arming teachers and staff is not the best option. But personally, I believe it is.

    Before we get to teachers and staff having guns… If you believe that taking guns away by law, instead of instituting them, is going to make the innocent, law-abiding citizens, safer, you’re wrong. Anyone who has the burning desire to commit an illegal act or harm someone WILL find a way. It doesn’t have to be by firearm. It could be by knife, shank, or even fists and feet. If guns are removed from the hands of the righteous, you’re leaving them defenseless against the corrupt evil that will ALWAYS be in the world. The same evil the HAS NEVER and WILL NEVER follow the law. Guns will STILL be in the hands of those willing to commit illegal acts. Why? Because they don’t and won’t ever follow the law. Sure it might make them harder to get, but if there’s a will there’s a way.

    Now onto teachers and staff. First of all, you cannot claim that EVERY teacher does not want to carry. In my opinion, teachers should be eager to carry. A true teacher should understand that when their students are in their classroom, they are responsible for them. Also, they should be willing, by whatever means necessary, to protect them to the best of their ability in any situation. Yes, firearms are the best means of attack, but they are also the best means of defense. Why do you think celebrities hire armed bodyguards? A teacher should truly be willing to be able to protect their students with the best defense. Most of them have families and children of their own. We are children too, and they are the adults who are responsible for us and should protect us Yes, it would take time and money to properly train those who are willing and purchase the proper equipment. But I believe ANY parent would be more than okay with paying little more tax knowing that their child’s safety from potential perpetrators is guaranteed. Also, I understand all of the “what if” questions like “what if a student takes the gun” or “what if they accidentally fire the gun.” The answer to those questions is resolved by the training they would need to receive. They would learn how to properly conceal the gun and use the safety, which disables the gun from firing. Overall, I think arming teachers and staff would provide sufficient security to decrease, if not prevent, school shootings from happening. This whole debate on gun control isn’t about getting the guns out of criminal hands, it’s about being capable of defending ourselves against the evil that takes innocent lives.

    One last thing. If you think that only the government should have access to guns and think that they could protect you, good luck. The government failed BIG TIME at Parkland. The four police officers you mentioned, the ones that stood outside doing nothing, is the government that YOU think will protect everyone. They sure didn’t protect those 17 students who were killed or the 14 others that were wounded. Pathetic.

    We the citizens are the only people who can truly ensure safety for ourselves and our loved ones. We have the second amendment for a reason and I believe we should utilize it to the ‘nth degree without question. In this case, I believe arming teachers and staff would increase security and make school safer. Do you really think a school shooter would walk into a school knowing that every teacher has a gun? No, I didn’t think so either.

  27. Nick DelBaggio on March 1st, 2018 8:08 am

    I agree

  28. reagan wood on March 1st, 2018 8:55 am

    personally i believe teachers should not be armed. They’re job is to be educators, not security guards. I feel there are people who are better equipped to handle dangerous situations, and those people should be hired or better trained to prevent future tragedies. I feel adding firearms into a school will increase the risk of accidents, and I don’t feel adding a risk like that is something that we should do.

  29. Brianna Foy on March 1st, 2018 9:02 am

    I feel like you made some valid points, but I still disagree. I think that teachers should be armed.

  30. Devon Henninger on March 1st, 2018 9:07 am

    Gun Control simply won’t stop mass murders. Just like the War on Drugs hasn’t stopped people from obtaining illegal drugs. There are so many ways and sources to obtain things illegal, from Mexican Cartels to the Black Market here in the United States. Those who want to inflict harm will find a way.

    In Sutherland Springs the guy with a weapon obtained it by lying about his criminal record, despite having several domestic abuse charges. But also, don’t forget that during this shooting the Hero that shot the monster as he was driving away had no shoes on and stood behind his pickup truck with a SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifle. Stephen Willeford, the hero, had that gun legally.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/06/man-who-put-end-carnage-texas/838700001/

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/08/texas-church-shooting-not-first-time-good-guy-with-gun-takes-down-mass-shooter.html

    So yes, I can agree that we need a form of regulations on background checks when it comes to federally licensed firearm dealers. Just like the government has regulations on Marijuana whenever legally obtaining it.

    Banning legal, law-abiding citizens does nothing but harm for the general public. There are many cases of concealed carry holders or legal gun owner stopping a mass shooting and here are a few.

    https://crimeresearch.org/2016/09/uber-driver-in-chicago-stops-mass-public-shooting/

  31. Caleb Orr on March 2nd, 2018 9:06 am

    I have noticed that your argument has many flaws in it to which I would like to introduce to other people on this page concerned about the safety of our students. First of all, I would like to let you know that the way I feel the most safe in schools is being guarded by a highly trained officer like our very own Officer Bub. I understand that this article is about arming or teachers, but the most important question is, “should we have guns in school?”

    Quote: “The problem is, the teachers don’t want to be armed. Not with guns. Our teachers signed up to be educators, not armed guards ready to take that kill shot on a student they have nurtured and educated for years.”

    Answer: That isn’t necessarily true. Unless you have personally asked every teacher in the school district this question, you don’t know that “teachers don’t want to be armed.” Also, when you say that teachers may not be prepared to kill one of their own students, couldn’t it be also said that teachers could not stand to watch their students they have nurtured and educated for years be shot dead? Wouldn’t they want to protect them as well?

    Quote: “We’ve always heard, “The only way to stop a bad guy is a good guy with a gun.” In the case of Parkland Florida, there were four “good guys” with a gun. There were four armed sheriffs on the scene, trained for this situation. They didn’t act. Four Broward County Sheriff Deputies did not enter the building while teachers and students were being slaughtered.”

    Answer: There are many cases of trained officers with guns acting in these situations. The results of one mass shooting does not prove that every officer would freeze in the situation.

    Quote: “If teachers had guns in the school, there would inevitably be accidental shootings. A teacher in a Pennsylvania Christian school in Chambersburg accidentally left her loaded pistol in an elementary school bathroom. Children, ages 6 and 8, found it and reported it to their parents and another teacher. The results could have been tragic. A teacher at a Utah Elementary School accidentally shot herself in the leg while using the restroom. While an Idaho professor accidentally shot himself in the foot. Fortunately, in all these cases, no students were harmed.”

    Answer: If we had highly trained officers like Officer Bub, then this wouldn’t happen. For example, a teacher could back over a student in the parking lot of the school, but we allow cars on the property of our school because the odds of that happening are beyond ridiculous. In that case, should we ban cars from the school parking lot? Guns have many features to make them safe. Officer’s guns have a holster that hides the trigger, a safety on the gun that prevents the trigger from being pulled, and the gun must be primed before shooting. In the case of a car, the teacher looks back, changes gears, and accelerates. Each have three steps to provide safety, but others choose to look at guns differently.

    Quote: “Let’s imagine there was an active shooter in the school, the SWAT team comes with guns blazing into the school and tries to determine who has the gun. SWAT sees a person with a gun, they feel threatened, there is chaos, and they pull the trigger. Later it’s determined that the person was the school beloved English teacher who was just trying to “protect the children.”
    Moreover, most school shooters are already prepared to die by police officers, so now it will be death by the football coach. How is this a deterrent?”

    Answer: This is why highly trained officers would be a necessity. In your article says in the quotes of Mr. Yoder, “Most school shootings happen in five minutes or less.” A SWAT team or even the police would take about that long to get here, so that is why we need guns INSIDE the schools. The Officers would be able to identify themselves to other Officers through their uniforms, so this problem would virtually be eliminated. Also, in the case of the Parkland shooting, the shooter DID NOT die.

    Quote: “We don’t live in a wealthy school district. Spending has been cut on educational programs. Our teachers don’t always have the necessary supplies they need to run their classrooms. Every year, teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for things like tissues, pencils, paper and glue sticks. Now, President Trump is waving some extra money around to the teachers to train them to be an armed security force. Where was this money when we needed it for education? What will the insurance premiums look like for a school district that decides to arm teachers? Someone is going to need to pay for it. Property taxes will have to be raised to make up for the higher premiums.”

    Answer: While this is true, let me remind you that life itself doesn’t have a price. The most important thing in your life is your health and safety, because it controls everything.

    Quote: “Of course, it seems everyone has an opinion about arming teachers but forgot to ask, well, the teachers.
    Here’s what a few longtime educators in our school had to say:
    “I am against arming teachers. I feel like it’s adding more danger,” said TAHS Principal Thomas Yoder, “What if a student wrestles the gun away from a teacher? Most school shootings happen in five minutes or less. The teacher would have to have the gun strapped on and loaded. Odds are, the gunman will already be gone.”

    Answer: Another reason why we need more Officer Bubs! In my school career, I have not heard any incidents with Officer Bub that put students in danger. The officers we need must be strong and be able to handle students that may be a threat to our safety.

    Quote: “I don’t think teachers should be armed. I think if we should have anybody be armed, it should be trained professionals guarding the school. Our teachers shouldn’t have to be trained. There is a big difference between training and experience,” said Economics/World Geography teacher Cummins McNitt.”

    Answer: Agreed.

    Quote: “I understand why some people want to have teachers armed, and I’m honored that students and members of the community trust us enough to do such a thing, but I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to ask teachers to add security guard/policeman to their already long list of job responsibilities,” said social studies teacher and Eagle Eye adviser Todd Cammarata.”

    Answer: I think for teachers that have received proper training and wish to carry a gun and supply themselves, they should have a small raise for their extra responsibility.

    Quote: “We are here to be educators,” said Mrs. Cynthia Isenberg.

    Answer: She isn’t wrong. However, we need someone to keep our schools safe, like Officer Bub.

    Quote: Arm our teachers with resources to be able to educate their students.
    Arm them with time to be able to develop relationships with their students and spot possible issues with anyone being bullied.
    Arm them with mental health counselors at the school who can work with troubled students.
    Parents, arm them with your attention, put down your phone and listen to the teacher when they say that they are seeing a problem with your child in the classroom.
    Teachers came into this job because they love learning. Give them the resources to be able to do their job effectively. If you want an armed security team, hire one.

    Answer: I agree with this statement, but I still feel that we need to have armed guards in our school, in the case that one of the students flies under the radar or the perpetrator isn’t a student at all.




Arm Our Teachers!

We live in a pretty terrifying world, and instead of sitting and waiting for it to get better we need to take action.

As of today, teachers in Pennsylvania are not  allowed to actively carry a firearm on school property due to “The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.” This federal law makes it illegal for anyone “to knowingly possess a firearm “within 1,000 feet of a school zone.”

However, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill over the summer that would have allowed educators or school staff to carry a concealed weapon with the right permits, but this bill never became a law.

At this point in our society, we need to take action. Gun control is great in theory, but how hard is it to lie your way through a test? Everyone gripes about the ability to lie about their gun application in the first place, but if they are lying now to get a gun do you really think more testing is going to make them be honest? If so, I would like to know what delusion you are living in.

Arm the teachers. Arm the staff. Arm the custodians. Arm any school official that is willing to take on that responsibility.”

Our school security system is flawed. Officer Bub is an amazing guy, but he is only one person and we have three schools to protect.

The administration will claim that our security is “solid” but it is all too easy to get into this school and with anything you want.

It takes nothing but the ring of a buzzer and a signature on a pass to gain access to any of our schools. No escort, no photo identification, not even walk through a metal detector. We have spent all this money on metal detectors, yet I haven’t been through one since my ninth grade year. If we are going to make it easy for people to gain access to our school, we need to make it just as easy to defend ourselves.

So let me ask you this, are we anything more than sitting ducks?

We have been through these drills since we have been in elementary school about safety in emergencies, but what is sitting against the wall going to do? Make me an easier target? I’m sorry, but if there was ever a school shooter I would want to know that someone would be able to protect me.

No, I’m not saying to arm every single teacher. If you force a gun on someone that is insanely dangerous.

These need to be teachers that already have concealed permits or even ones who would be willing to get one. Put them through an education course with the local and state police to ensure that they have the competence and responsibility.

We need to take action. We should not have to have our students worried about their lives rather than their education in a place that we have been promised is safe.

Arm the teachers.

Arm the staff.

Arm the custodians.

Arm any school official that is willing to take on that responsibility.

I’m also aware that someone is going to make the argument ‘What about first responders being able to distinguish the shooter and the teachers?’ If we would be serious about this there would have to be a code word, or a signal, or a system of identification out into place to protect our staff.

To say that ‘It will never happen here’ is just ridiculous. Look around! It’s 2018 and our society sucks!  If we can’t stop it, we might as well try to prepare and get ahead of it.

Arm our teachers. Save our students. Protect our school.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Photo of Jamie Lynch
Jamie Lynch, Staff Photographer

This is Jamie Lynch’s first year on the Eagle Eye News staff. She is in her Junior year and is also involved in the Youth Action Network, Student Council,...

35 Comments

When commenting, please use your FULL NAME and a VALID email address. If you are a TASD student please use your school email address. Comments without names and valid email addresses may not be published. Thank you and please comment responsibly!

  1. Benedict DelBaggio on February 27th, 2018 10:07 am

    I understand your concern about school shootings, but you need to understand in a active shooter situation arming the teachers and other staff will just cause chaos for the police and lead to more needless death, overall we need to not arm school staff but instead have more Officer Bubs.

  2. Jamie Lynch on February 27th, 2018 11:26 am

    I see what you are saying, but you bring up the point of cost. Let me ask you, do you know how much the average armed guard makes in a month? $15.00 per hour. For 180 school days at roughly eight hours a day that would mean a $21,600 yearly salary for only ONE officer. For a school our size and set up we need at least three extra officers. Whereas, a Ruger American Pistol – 9mm is $450.00 with a box of ammunition being $17.00 a box for 25. So if we armed 10 teachers with gun and single box of ammunition it would cost $4,670. Which is your cheaper option? So looking at it from your point of view it would still be more expensive to hire more armed guards to have in place at the school. Also, in the case of a school shooting our teachers would be able to take action and possibly diffuse the situation before first responders were able to arrive. If an active shooter situation takes only five minutes to happen, but average police response time is seven minutes how do you expect them to do anything. We need a system of front line defense, and we have the ability to do it.

  3. Zachary Neff on February 27th, 2018 11:40 am

    I agree completely on this. Arming our teachers would not only protect us, but detour away potential shooters.
    I’ve heard different arguments as to “oh then the shooter wont even have to bring a gun, they could pick it up off the teachers desk or pull it out of their holster.” No teacher is going to let the gun on their desk, nor show the kids they have one until an emergency situation commences. Also you cant just pick a gun up out of a holster, there are buttons latches and everything else to prevent this. I have also heard “What if the kid just knocks the teacher out, takes the weapon and shoots up the school.” Honestly listening to that just hurts my brain, the chances of a kid attempting that are slim to none, and its just unrealistic. Arm our teachers!.

  4. Rob smith on February 27th, 2018 12:23 pm

    Cost:
    The discussion of arming teachers is ti allow teachers who volunteer to carry their own firearms not supplying firearms to them. Training would be given by the local police department who would be willing ti volunteer their time on qualification standards. These are the same stanards your local law enforcement is held to. Ranges would volunteer their space at no charge to help.

    Undue danger during a situation:
    These teachers would not be actively clearing rooms and seeking the shooter. but instead protecting the students and staff in their immediate area.

    School safety and security needs to be a real discussion in our community. our government Doesn’t discuss school safety after a shooting because everyone focuses on gun control instead. Gun control brings feelings from both political parties and often results in nothing meaningful being done. School safety is something I believe both republicans and democrats can agree on and make meaningful changes to our schools. For now the politicians are offering “Thought and prayers” while our students are at risk of another tragedy.

  5. Tom McCaffrey on February 27th, 2018 12:39 pm

    As a former Emotional Support teacher who worked with at risk students, the last idea that I feel would be a solution would be to arm myself so I could shoot my students.

  6. logan p on February 28th, 2018 8:44 am

    no lol

  7. Nathan Walk on February 28th, 2018 11:52 am

    The problem with arming teachers is that many of them don’t want to be armed. If we force guns upon them, I don’t think that would help much. If they don’t want the guns, they might not even use them during a crisis. I do however think that we need some type of armed professionals in the school. More security guards would help keep the school safer and they would be better suited in a crisis situation.

  8. Tyler Beckwith on February 28th, 2018 11:53 am

    I fully agree with your argument. It provides facts about the laws in our state which is very good. While also providing your opinion and solution to this problem. Overall well done.

  9. Brianna Foy on February 28th, 2018 11:53 am

    I agree with you on this. The points you made were valid. I have had the same opinion on this even before reading this. Reading this, it drove me even more to this side. I think that by arming teachers, or staff, we would be a lot safer. I agree with you 100%

  10. Brent j Mcneel on February 28th, 2018 11:55 am

    When examining solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, one response is what comes to my mind. The answer that I believe would be a good compromise to both ends of the political spectrum is more armed security in schools. I am not simply saying that we should arm all teachers, what I am saying is hire more officers and security to protect the students in our school. I don’t believe that more gun control is the correct answer. Activists for more gun control believe in mostly banning AR-15 style firearms. However, most violent crime in the united states is caused by pistols, not AR-15 style firearms. The opposition never goes after pistols because they know that a ban on pistols is unconstitutional. Another solution brought up by the left is that we need to raise the age to be able to buy a firearm from 18 to 21. However, the majority of mass shooters in the past five years have been at the age of 21 or over, so this law would not have kept them from getting a gun. A perfect example of why gun control is ineffective in the united states is the city of Chicago. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country but the crime rate is one of the largest in the country. Lots of gun control activists like to bring un the crime rates falling in Australia after they banned guns entirely. First, we can not do that in the united states because of the 2nd amendment. Also, I would rather be talking about solutions that would work in AMERICA, not around the world. And we have seen that in the united states gun control is ineffective. (Chicago) I also believe that if a teacher has obtained a concealed carry permit to use outside of school they should be able to carry in schools. If we trust law-abiding teachers/ citizens to carry in public places, I believe they should be allowed to carry in schools. In short, I believe that the only way to solve this problem is more security in schools.

  11. Grace LeGars on February 28th, 2018 11:59 am

    Yes, we need more security.

  12. Megan Dale on February 28th, 2018 12:05 pm

    Good in theory, bad in practice.

  13. Ally Jones on February 28th, 2018 12:18 pm

    There are MANY precautions our school can take before we go to the extreme of arming our staff.

  14. Cate Baran on February 28th, 2018 12:18 pm

    There are other approaches our school could take before jumping to guns.

  15. Joel Groseclose on February 28th, 2018 12:28 pm

    I do not agree with teachers carrying weapons. They should not be armed. It will only add chaos and disorder in situations. I believe we should have a bigger security force or security measures consisting of people who are trained to handle this situations and act within a moments notice.

  16. carson mayhew on February 28th, 2018 12:39 pm

    great use of facts and i think they should be armed

  17. Kevin Lehner on February 28th, 2018 2:07 pm

    I agree with arming teachers as long as the weapon is kept safe and out of students reach. But other than that I agree with the facts and this opinion.

  18. Alicia Endress on February 28th, 2018 2:22 pm

    Arming teachers would be more of a safety hazard than a way to protect students. The guns in the classrooms would need to be easily accessible and loaded in order to be effective in a school shooting situation. This would make guns even more accessible to people who intend to use a gun for harmful purposes.

  19. Madison on February 28th, 2018 2:32 pm

    I do not agree with teachers being armed. They didn’t get hired to protect us and most students wouldn’t feel safe in a classroom with a teacher who was carrying a gun.

  20. ebonee rice on February 28th, 2018 2:34 pm

    I agree that our school needs more security, but giving teachers guns would create more issues than solve them. For one, even if teachers enrolled in a gun training program, that doesn’t mean they would take action. School shooters are usually students, teachers know them and have nurtured them for years. There is no guarantee that a teacher could kill them. Also, it would create more chaos. If a teacher is armed with no experience, a student could easily get shot by accident. Arming teachers is not the solution, but more security is.

  21. Nick Vasbinder on February 28th, 2018 4:48 pm

    A safer environment is what we need, and more protection, with the people trained to handle said protection, need to be implemented into our school lives. The lives of the children in our schools right now are not as safe as they could/should be, and that’s a problem. It’s a problem worth taking the time and maturity to solve.

  22. Daniel Parker on February 28th, 2018 4:52 pm

    Agreed.

  23. Emily Detwiler on February 28th, 2018 7:58 pm

    I agree that there should be more security in our schools

  24. Anna-Lynn Fryer on February 28th, 2018 8:03 pm

    I agree that adding more security to our school is important, but arming teachers is not a smart solution. If this did go into effect, then the shooter wouldn’t hesitate to shoot the teacher, and what happens if the shooter kills one of our armed teachers? Well, first off the kids that were under the protection of the armed teacher are now in danger, and the shooter now has one more extra gun, thanks to the teacher. Teachers became teachers to educate, not shoot kids. We should leave the protection of children to trained professionals. And yes while it may be more expensive, at least we’d know that they are trained.

  25. Luke E Brenneman on March 1st, 2018 7:36 am

    I don’t think that the teachers should be armed. Many of the teachers are not trained properly, and they would not have the mindset to be able to kill an active shooter.

  26. Nick DelBaggio on March 1st, 2018 8:08 am

    I think that if we armed the teachers, it may cause more chaos than good.

  27. reagan wood on March 1st, 2018 8:57 am

    i agree we need better security and protection, but I don’t think arming teachers would actually help with security. Many teachers would not be trained properly and would most likely not be in a stable mindset if there was an actual shooter situation.

  28. Mia Kosoglow on March 1st, 2018 9:00 am

    Protection and security are important, but arming the teachers is not the way to achieve these goals. By giving the teachers guns, more problems are caused then solved. I’m not say I don’t want security – because I do – I’m just saying that there are smarter ways to provide it.

  29. logan p again on March 1st, 2018 9:02 am

    u can spend millions arming teacher and training them…or u can change the second ammendment :^)

  30. Devon Henninger on March 1st, 2018 9:49 am

    Yes, I believe arming teachers is for the better. The teachers would be volunteers into a program, not force, and the school would pay for the training. Whenever there is a threat at the school they will get into a lock box located somewhere within the classroom, that only the teacher and school security has the code to. Then, stage inside of the classroom. Not go on a manhunt. The guns would be used for defense to protect the students and themselves, instead of being defenseless and huddle in a corner for the police.

  31. Unknown on March 1st, 2018 10:09 am

    If you think that giving a teacher a gun to try and stop an active shooter is gonna help, then your delusional. We do not need teachers with guns, we need more security. We need more guns, more medal detectors, and a great way to make sure that we stay safe is if we have teachers at at every entrance in the morning checking students bags. I think this would be a great way to protect us and others in this school.

  32. Nick on March 1st, 2018 1:08 pm

    It is not in the job description of an educator for them having to carry firearms and use them to kill. They are here to educate, it is what the school pays them for.

  33. Jamie Lynch on March 2nd, 2018 9:26 am

    In response to Logan P. – It doesn’t cost millions to arm teachers. And I’ll say it again, it doesn’t cost millions to arm teachers. Also the second amendment was put into place by those before not so that people could own guns for hunting or sport, BUT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. End of discussion. Guns are needed in today’s society for protection, ability to feed families, and for even game or sport. There are millions of people who own guns of every shape, size, caliper, and design.

    Another point to look at for those who bring up the topic of not arming teachers because they shouldn’t have to defend us or kill a student. Well when a teacher is hired, it is part of their job to protect their students. Teachers are our parents away from home. They protect us in more ways than one every single day. But when we look at all the options for arming our teachers, no one ever said that they had to use real ammunition. It doesn’t have to be deadly. There are salt “bullets” and rubber bullets that can be used as a deterrent. These armed teachers aren’t to be out actively seeking the shooter and trying to stop the situation. They are to protect the students close to them if the shooter would approach. Not necessarily by killing the shooter, but by deterring his actions.

  34. Caleb Orr on March 2nd, 2018 12:10 pm

    In pursuit of the truth, “Unknown”, you should not have to resort to name calling (“delusional”).

  35. smol boi on January 16th, 2019 9:45 am

    well done, well done. there are ups and downs to arming teachers. we should only arm the teachers that are willing to have that responsibility. in a real scenario, where we are meant to use our binders/backpacks to shield ourselves. while most shooters prefer AR-15s, which normally shoot 5.56 ammunition. a 5.56 bullet would most likely shred through binders/backpacks and desks, because it will do so to a human. we need to arm our teachers who are willing to protect our students.