Should teachers bring guns to school? – Tillamook County Pioneer
EDITOR’S NOTE: This commentary was from Isabel Donohue’s presentation to the Tillamook School District Board on Monday, February 14. One of the issues the council was considering was a decision regarding the arming of teachers. The board approved a policy banning guns in schools, without amending it to arm teachers, so whether under public pressure, legal advice or common sense, it appears that teachers in TSD # 9 will not be armed at this time. This well-researched and well-written statement provides all the information needed to answer the title question. Thanks Isabeal for sharing this with Pioneer readers.
By Isabeal Donohue, Tillamook High School Student
Teachers bringing firearms onto school grounds? I suspect this is because if there were to be a shooter at school, the teachers could pull out their guns and shoot, in order to protect their students. While this is a good idea at heart and could potentially prevent many deaths that would come with the potential of a school shooter, we seem to be overlooking some major elements that could put students at even greater risk. . Real-world examples that highlight the dangers of having guns on school grounds include that even with proper training and certification, people carrying guns in schools can have the opposite impact of defense. According to statistics provided by Giffords Law Center, a group that investigates policies and strategies to reduce gun violence, more than 70 incidents of gun misuse in US schools have been documented in the past five years. years. The group analyzes the use of firearms in schools and categorizes them as “accidentally discharged”, “mishandled under disciplinary action” and “used in times of stress or mental strain”. The center offers case studies across the country.
Students in Alabama and California were hit by bullet fragments when their instructors mistakenly discharged firearms in class. Two middle schoolers from Missouri took the gun their instructor had brought to school. And the mistreatment is not limited to teachers. A school resource officer in Florida accidentally discharged a firearm while resting on the wall of a lunchroom.
There are also a lot of looming questions, too many possibilities, what ifs. Where would a teacher keep it? Would the teacher take it with him wherever he went, or bring it home? What if the instructor lost his mind on a child and pointed a gun at the child? What if a student assaulted a teacher and stole the instructor’s gun? Would you like to keep it in a safe? What types of weapons are allowed? Who has the right to hold something so powerful that it can cost someone’s life, intentionally or not? What can happen is limitless in terms of possibilities. I think most of us aren’t too thrilled with the concept. If there really is a concern, there are better ways to prevent a damaging situation.
A study looked at 35 mass shootings that took place in the United States between 1982 and 2019 and featured perpetrators who lived and were prosecuted. A review of several medical records on the mass killers revealed that 28 of them suffered from mental illnesses. Eighteen suffered from schizophrenia and ten suffered from additional illnesses such as bipolar illness, delusional disorder, personality disorders and substance abuse issues. This means that more often than not, a person who decides to shoot a school has a mental health condition that is not properly treated and is potentially suicidal. One way to prevent a child from becoming a school shooter is to give them the best mental health resources we can. There are also trainings given to teachers, such as the Alice training, which has proven to be very effective.
Moreover, as a community, we should not teach the next generation to know that the only way to solve problems is not by the words we use, but by the weapons we hold. We cannot solve all problems with violence. It creates a dangerous learning environment and there is a time and a place to bear arms, but a school is a place of learning and education. Weapons belong to the forest, hunting for food and killing deer, not children. However, a weapon, such as a taser or knife, might be preferable. There are too many risks and possibilities, and you can’t afford to have a weapon that can kill someone accidentally. The chances of a gun exploding in the classroom, being misused by a teacher, or being fired at someone may be slim and unlikely, but so is a school shooting. . We could be creating more problems than we are solving and, in my personal opinion, that is too much of a liability.
There is also no evidence or data supporting the need for this protection, as there is no evidence of threats being sent to the school, requiring such extreme change. If that were the case, many parents and I think it would be best to get funding for campus-based police, as we have done in the past. Then we would have someone who has been trained, knowledgeable in the field, insured for emergencies, and is part of the job description. Teachers go to college, learning how to educate the next generation, not to hold a gun in their hands, which could put themselves and others in danger or danger. Not to mention if there were to be a school shooter, how would the proper authorities know who to arrest or find out who the real perpetrator is?
Also, this idea could put everyone at risk, and I think until there’s real evidence of a potential school shooter, we shouldn’t feel the need to make any rash decisions. . However, I think we can all agree that safety is the number one priority, so having police officers in place to patrol the school and protect our students would be an amazing idea to consider! The only teachers who should be allowed to carry a gun are those who have worked in law enforcement before with a thorough background check, and even that pushes the boundaries of comfort.