During my freshman year of high school while I was trying to fit in and not make a fool of myself in front of girls, at another school just like mine two kids walked into their halls and murdered 11 students, 1 teacher, and injured 21 others. This was Columbine, but maybe you might have heard of Sandy Hook, or Virginia Tech or the most recent Stoneman Douglas, all of them massacres, all of them horrific for students, faculty and parents. All of them happened with guns.
We as a Nation know that these acts of violence have many different motives from the mentally disturbed individuals to kids being bullied at school. But what I want to know, is arming our teachers what America needs to keep our kids safe? Many would say, “schools need to remain a Gun Free Zone” while others would argue “it’s because of the Gun Free Zone schools are a target. “
I started my research by watching numerous newscasts and YouTube videos of different opinions on whether we need to arm the schools security guards, teachers, and even hire unemployed veterans to guard the schools. President Trump while doing a press conference spoke on arming our teachers. He stated that not every teacher should have a gun but only the ones who feel adept at having it in a concealed carry fashion and who have done extra training. (YouTube vid. 1) At another conference he even suggested a bonus for the teachers who volunteered to carry a gun. He believes that if 20% of teachers at a school carried a weapon that it would discourage any student or mentally unstable person from trying to kill the innocent because it is no longer a “Gun Free Zone”.(YouTube vid. 2)
My next step was to talk with actual teachers about what they thought of having 20% of their staff carrying a concealed weapon. I conducted a small study between my sister and sister-in-law both are teachers but with different political views. My first question to them was “Should school staff be allowed guns at school?” My sister replied with an astounding “NO!!!” my sister-in-law however who has grown up with guns said she would be fine with guns at school as long as she knew and trusted whoever got to carry them. I then asked “would you feel safer or more comfortable knowing there are guns around you” Both of them seemed to think they wouldn’t know how it would affect them until it was introduced at their own school. My last question was “Do you think the kids at your school would feel safer knowing certain staff members had a concealed weapon?” Both of them had the same assumptions, in that the kids would be more hesitant to go to school and wouldn’t feel it was a safe place. As this small study showed even a teacher with experience with guns would still feel a little uncomfortable about her everyday atmosphere if guns where introduced. So a much larger group of teachers and a more complex set of questions need to be asked before we would want to rule out guns at school.
A variety of legal measures have been debated and proposed. In a Law and Policy journal The Legal Context of School Violence: The Effectiveness of Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence in Schools by Richard Redding and Sarah Shalf. Redding and Shalf discuss the enactment of tougher gun control laws and more vigorous federal and local enforcement of existing gun control laws; the enactment of laws imposing civil or criminal liability on parents for their children’s violent behavior; the establishment of specialized courts and prosecution strategies for handling juveniles who are charged with weapons offenses; stricter enforcement of school disciplinary codes; reform of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to make it easier to expel students for weapons violations; and greater use of alternative schools as placements for students who are charged with weapons violations. (Redding, Shalf 1)
Their journal was written in 2001 and as well written and informative as it is Redding and Shalf didn’t even mention the idea of arming staff members at a school. Is it because they knew it was a ludicrous idea so why even mention it? Since 2001 we have had countless more attacks on our schools maybe it’s because there is no one to fight back against an active shooter. Is now the time though to start arming teachers because all the programs, and stricter laws aren’t doing what we hoped for.
I wanted to see if any schools have adopted the idea of carrying guns on campus and how it has affected how staff and students feel. In a small town in Texas where there is no local police department, certain staff members do have concealed weapons on campus. There is also a sign when you enter the school stating “ATTENTION, please be aware that certain staff members at Callisburg ISD are armed, and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students” This “Guardian” program is only in about 170 school districts of the over 1000 districts in Texas, and the couple students they interviewed said “they feel safe and confident that there teachers and staff would protect them.”(YouTube vid. 3) In a smaller community like Callisburg without a local police department I think it is a better idea to have the schools staff carry concealed weapons because the counties Sherriff department could be too far away to help in a crisis.
In the book School Shooting, Mediatized Violence in a Global Age by Johanna Sumiala and Glenn Muschert they explain how academic studies of school shootings have made a point that all critical media researchers should heed; that “second generation” paradigms of media influence, like agenda setting, myth and ritual theory, remain power-ful tools for analyzing the social and political impact of media violence in the digital age.(4) Our society has all this vast information at our fingertips via the web, television and our smartphones. So when a terrible atrocity occurs even on the other side of the country we know about it in real time. But the media attention over a school shooting is always a double-sided sword. On the one hand we as a people can reach out to one another and try and get through this tragedy by helping in any way we can, yet for the mentally unstable they see all this attention as something they want and it doesn’t matter if they have to be labeled a murderer to get it. So if an individual who wants to harm a school now knows it is no longer a “Gun Free Zones” could it save a child’s life? I think the media and we as a nation need to stop glorifying these horrific acts so for the next person that want’s to hurt others they’ll know they won’t have any kind of legacy.
As a parent there is no greater fear then to loose your child. And having a child in school this debate really got me thinking about would guns in a school setting be what is best for society. Gun laws are going to change; yet we as a people need to change. There will always be hate and vengeance in our lives so until we as a people can look past these petty disagreements there will always be an argument of how to keep our loved ones safe. Either with guns or without.
The Legal Context of School Violence: The Effectiveness of Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence in Schools
Authors:Reddng, Richard E, Shalf, Sarah M.
Document Source: Law & Policy. Jul2001, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p297. 47p.
Type Subject: Article, Journal
This article/journal talks about the different government, state and local laws on how to reduce gun related incidents in schools. I’m using this as an example of how the nation isn’t addressing how we need to arm persons at the school site to protect our children. Also it was written in 2001 and since then we have had numerous more attacks without any change to guns laws. This was a journal I found on Crafton Hills library etext site.
|Title:||School Shootings : Mediatized Violence in a Global Age|
|Series:||Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 7|
Muschert, Glenn W.
|Publication Information:||Ed.: 1st ed. Bingley, UK : Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 2012|
This eBook is part of a educated Journal about how our society is and isn’t influenced by the media. I tried to explain how our society believes everything it hears either on tv or the radio. I also wanted to state how people who want to hurt others know that they will be immortalized as a killer thanks to the media attention. This journal was well written and very in-depth in the ways it described the different aspects of media and how our society reacts to it.
Enough Is Enough : A Student Affairs Perspective on Preparedness and Response to a Campus Shooting
|Authors:||Hemphill, Brian O.
LaBanc, Brandi Hephner
|Publication Information:||Ed.: 1st ed. Sterling, Va : Stylus Publishing. 2010|
This book presents first-hand accounts and experienced counsel from professionals who have lived through a violent incident, and continue to deal with its aftermath. I had a section written about gun control, but then looked back and saw that I was getting off topic about how I was discussing arming school officials. For the good of the report I left out what I was saying for a better flow.
Website Title: YouTube
Article Title: Trump says arming teachers with concealed weapons could prevent school massacres
Electronically Published: February 22, 2018
Date Accessed: March 10, 2018
President Trump says he’s considering proposals to promote concealed carrying of weapons by trained school employees to respond to shootings. Meeting students and parents affected by school shootings, Trump responded to a call to arm teachers and other school employees so they can react before law enforcement arrives. Trump said he believes the proposal could ‘solve the problem’ by making potential attackers think twice. I am using this to try and take another view of how we should approach guns at school. This was a documented video of our president discussing different ideas to help stop school gun violence.
Website Title: YouTube
Article Title: Donald Trump: give teachers who carry guns a bonus
Electronically Published: February 23, 2018
Date Accessed: March 10, 2018
The US president has called for ‘highly adept’ teachers to carry guns in response to the Florida school shooting, saying ‘you won’t have these shootings’ if teaching staff are armed. Trump argues that teachers with concealed weapons will turn schools into ‘hardened targets’ I’m trying to represent how a lot of Americans feel from what president Trump is saying. I want to inform the readers that he doesn’t want all teachers to have guns but only the ones who feel adept at using them. He even says they should get bonuses for taking on this extra responsibility. This was a documented video of our president discussing different ideas to help stop school gun violence.
Article Title: Inside school where teachers carry guns
Electronically Published: February 24, 2018
Date Accessed: March 10, 2018
While the nation debates whether teachers should carry guns to protect students from armed intruders, the question is already settled in one Texas school district, where educators have had firearms on campus for years. I wanted to show how some school districts are already implementing guns in school and how they protect students and staff seeing as there aren’t law enforcement close by. I’m trying to find a common ground for guns in schools seeing as there aren’t police readily available guns at school aren’t a bad option. This was a CNN report about guns at school and how teachers and staff feel safer.
Sorry too good not to post