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Arming Teachers Does Not Solve the Problem

Julia Knies, Opinion Editor

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Because of the recent increase in school shootings, the proposal to arm teachers has surfaced and is highly controversial.  While increased security on campuses is probably necessary, it should not be teachers who carry guns. Teachers should be focused on the education of their students, and nothing else.

Arming teachers will not solve the problem of school shootings. It will not magically stop them from happening. Instead of forcing all teachers to carry guns, better care and concern for the mental health of people should be instilled. It is something that is continuously overlooked or used as an excuse as to why someone did something. Mental health has always been something not discussed but it should be. According to statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one in five teenagers—from 13 to 18—will be faced with a severe mental disorder at least once in their life.

Another thing to consider is the liability that arming teachers would cause. Some schools already allow teachers to carry on campus. In Texas, they allow teachers to carry, but only if they have concealed carry permits. In Utah, it has been legal to carry in classrooms for a while, but in 2014, a teacher accidentally discharged her gun in the bathroom. No one was harmed, but it is easy to imagine similar situations happening, with more lethal results. Who would be responsible?

Even if a teacher undergoes training with guns, first aid, and other safety, most will not be mentally prepared for such an intense, stressful situation such as a shooting. Teachers are not police officers and should not be expected to act like them. While the students safety is something very important to most teachers, they should not have to do training on top of  teaching and their personal lives.

Sadly, this issue is another that has become political, with both parties feeling strongly one way or the other. In polls done by NPR and Ipsos, the results showed that 71 percent of Republican men are for arming teachers, and 68 percent of Republican men and women are for it. Trump said he was even willing to give bonuses to teachers who undergo gun training. 82 percent of Democrats, on the other hand, are against it. The safety of children at school should not be political, and our leaders in Washington need to find a way to come together to protect us.

Arming teachers will not solve the problem of school shootings. It will not make the schools any safer or prevent any in the future. America needs to focus on the root problem of mental illness, and arming the teachers is only dealing with the results of shooting, not the cause.

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The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School
Arming Teachers Does Not Solve the Problem