In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 20 young children and six school teachers and administrators, the entire country has gotten understandably concerned with school security. Plenty of parents are asking if armed guards can be placed at schools around the country. While I don’t think that’s the solution, I think it’s much more preferable to what’s going on in one small Texas town, where teachers are allowed to carry guns at school.
Harrold, Texas is a small town where the nearest sheriff’s office is 30 minutes away from school. They don’t have the budget for a full-time security guard, but they feel like allowing teachers to come to school armed is the best choice for them, even if a security guard was a possibility.
Superintendent David Thweatt explain:
“A shooter could take out a guard or officer with a visible, holstered weapon, but our teachers have master’s degrees, are older and have had extensive training. And their guns are hidden. We can protect our children.”
As a parent, I think I would like to know just what type of “extensive training” these teachers have had. Are they all former law enforcement, who have learned how to bring a criminal down while doing minimal damage to bystanders? Even police officers have a hard time to doing that when there are large amounts of people who might be emotional and hysterical. You know, like you might find in a classroom being attacked by someone with a gun.
How well are these guns hidden, I have to wonder? Are there gun safes in every room, so that teachers can lock away their weapons where students can’t find them? Are teachers carrying their guns with them at all times?
Schools should be focused on educating our children. They also need to be able to keep them safe. But allowing guns in the classroom just means that schools need protocols to keep children safe from internal, as well as external threats. You’re creating a larger possibility for a tragic accident or a horrible crime to happen by allowing weapons in schools.
Right now, this small Texas town is the only one that has publicly confirmed it allows teachers to carry guns. Apparently, several states have laws specifying that school employees can arm themselves as long as the school gives written permission. Since Connecticut, more states have considered such laws and more schools have considered invoking this right.
As a parent, I would immediately pull my child from any school that permitted teachers to carry weapons. And it wouldn’t just be for safety concerns, though that would top my list of reasons. Any school system that believes more firepower in schools is a solution to violence demonstrates a questionable level of rational thinking that I don’t want my child learning.
News outlets are reporting that schools in Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota and Oregon are all thinking about following in Harrold, Texas’s lead. I guess that just means my daughter will never attend a school in Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, Oregon or Texas.