In response to the terrible shooting at Millard South High School earlier this month, Nebraska Senator Mark Christensen “introduced a bill to allow school administrators, teachers and security staff to carry concealed handguns in schools,” according to The Huffington Post. The Association of American Educators quotes Christensen as saying, “If you have a kid come in to shoot a teacher … or other kids, it’s best to have somebody that can take care of the situation.”
The AAE notes that “42 states and the District of Columbia have banned guns in schools,” and that there is only one school district in the nation that allows guns on campus. The Harrold Independent School District in Texas enacted a policy in 2007 requiring those carrying firearms “to be trained and carry special non-lethal bullets.” Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt gives his full support to the policy, calling it ”comforting.”
“To say that the only people who can protect themselves have to [have] a badge … that’s just ludicrous. There are a lot of people who can act responsibly,” Thweatt said. Yes, and part of acting responsibly is teaching young people that, unless you’re hunting, guns have no place in the hands of civilians.
This is not the first time a legislator has proposed allowing teachers and other staff to carry guns in school. Back in 2006, Wisconsin lawmaker Frank Lasee suggested teachers in his state should be armed. The idea faced opposition from educators and never got off the ground. In 2007, the Nevada state senate voted against a bill giving teachers access to weapons and last year, Arizona lawmakers debated a bill that would allow University professors to carry guns on campus. That bill has been introduced numerous times and may yet pass.
School shootings are horrific incidents and we should be doing everything we can to stop them. But adding more guns into the mix is no way to protect our children. Let’s remember, in the shooting that took place this week at Gardena High School in CA, the gun went off accidentally, hitting two students with one bullet. Surely those kinds of accidents would happen more than once if teachers and other staff were armed. What if a deranged student was able to steal a weapon from an administrator? What if a teacher, faced with a hostage situation like the one at Marinette High School that resulted in no deaths except the suicide of the gunman, decided to shoot the gunman instead? And what if the gunman wasn’t killed, then he decided to start returning fire? If we’re going to demand that students keep guns out of school – as well we should – no one should be allowed to bring guns into the classroom. It’s ridiculous to suggest that teachers can be effective role models by espousing a “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality when it comes to gun control.