Arming Classroom Teachers

WHAT IT IS

  • Teachers in Colorado received firearms training from a group called FASTER (Faculty/Administrative Safety Training & Emergency Response).
  • The initiative by FASTER, and rise in school shootings, has encouraged lawmakers in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to consider bills allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom.

WHY IT MATTERS

There have been 220 shootings on school campuses in the U.S. since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. It seems school officials and lawmakers are willing to try anything to prevent more incidents from occurring, despite numerous credible studies showing guns may not make society safer.

  • PRO-ARMS: “Proactive and protective”

    • Precious time:   An FBI study of active shooter incidents between 2000-2013 found that 44/63 shootings could be determined “over” in five minutes or less. Police forces may not be able to interfere in time, especially in rural districts.
    • What’s the difference?:   At least 23,000 schools, nearly ⅓ of all public schools in the U.S., already have armed security staff.
    • Properly trained:   FASTER provides 26 hours of hands-on training over three days and exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
  • ANTI-ARMS: “Careless and dangerous”

    • Disarmed by the unarmed:   An FBI study found that during shootings, school staff sometimes acted as first responders. In these specific instances, shooters were stopped more frequently by unarmed civilians than armed civilians.
    • Catering to constituents:   A representative from Idaho polled 1,189 of her constituents about the issue with 1,109 against and 80 in favor.
    • Illegal:   States across the country are required to comply with the 1990 Gun Free School Act, which prohibits unlicensed individuals from possessing a gun within 1,000 feet of a school.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Under current law, people with permits to carry firearms can still bring them into “gun-free” zones, and states have a lot of flexibility regarding who they want to license and how.
  • The Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill on June 28th that would give school boards the power to arm their teachers.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Will teachers be able to desensitize themselves to disarm and potentially harm a student?
  • Is this a state or federal issue?