Setting guns aside: Let teachers teach


(Anderson) Herald Bulletin

Instructor. Disciplinarian. Tester. Grader. Counselor. Social worker.

Diplomat. Advocate. Arbitrator. …

Teachers have so many roles in the classroom, would it be a good idea to add armed guard to their list of responsibilities?

Clearly, the answer is no.

President Donald Trump and others have suggested that teachers should be given guns and trained to use them as a line of defense against school shooters such as the one who killed 17 students on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida. The vast majority of teachers across the country have responded to the president’s idea with a resounding no.

Most say that they didn’t get into teaching to tote a gun, that introducing firearms to the classroom would be dangerous, that they are just flat-out uncomfortable with guns. But some teachers don’t object to having a firearm in their hands; some say they would be willing to carry at school and stand between students and a shooter.

Would it be smart to arm the willing teachers?

This should be a community’s decision, and one that is thought out carefully with school safety top of mind and input from parents, educators, law enforcement and students.

Here in Madison County, it would make more sense for schools to have armed security officers, rather than armed teachers, to promote safety and deter those who would commit violence.

For schools that can’t afford them, the next choice to carry a gun would be school administrators, since they’re not tied to specific classrooms and have a broader view of what’s happening at the school’s entrances, in the halls and elsewhere.

Teachers should be a last resort to carry guns at school. Let them focus on their umpteen other responsibilities. And let’s not forget the purpose of schools — learning.

To put it succinctly, let’s let teachers teach.

This was distributed by the Hoosier State Press Association. Send comments to [email protected].

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