Arming Teachers





Arming Teachers

The debate on whether teachers should carry guns began when President Trump hosted guests to the white house for a listening session after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead (Sanchez). The act was conducted by a teenager and a former student at the school, Nikolas Cruz (ITV News). During this meeting, President Trump proposed the issuance of firearms to teachers as a response mechanism to future mass shootings in school environments. He followed up these sentiments with a tweet a day after the listening session. Trumped saw giving teachers/coaches guns as a way of deterring a potential hate crime.

Those in support of Trump’s ideas were mostly gun supporters or the so-called pro-gun group mostly made up of Republicans, although not all Republicans were of this idea. Those enthusiastically against gun legislation suggest that a number of teachers should be armed with concealed weapons. The idea of having armed teachers goes like if a shooter knows that teachers in a targeted school carry weapons and will retaliate, then they may decide against executing their plan. In case they decide to go forward with it, a teacher wielding weapons will be able to hold them before security forces arrive at the scene. This paper presents counter-arguments to this view supported by possible dire consequences of the move.

Arming teachers across the nation will mean a huge budget allocation, while most districts are not able to offer educators with enough resources to support their students. In some places, schools have no resources to keep the heat on during winter. It would be so unrealistic to imagine the government being able to arms teachers all across the nation, and even if it happens, the expense is unimaginable.

It is also obvious that American teachers have more than enough on their plates already since the amount of work they handle goes beyond giving lectures and assigning homework, which does not remotely match their pay. Teachers handle all the paperwork, do the grading, and are still expected to attend any number of meetings (staff, IEP meetings, as well as parent-teacher conferences). Besides teaching, they are managing their classes, after which they have phone calls after hours with parents and torturing students. Teachers never catch a break, which makes it entirely insensible to require them to add such a demanding task to this unending list.

What about black teachers? Following the history of the country on their insecurity against black people, it would mean black teachers would face a unique outcome. Many Twitter users responded to Trump’s tweet by recalling an incident that involved one Philando Castile, a school worker who had the license to carry a firearm. It happened that the police pulled him over, and Castile made it clear that he legally owned the firearm in his car. Although he adhered to every possible rule and going by every conceivable measure to guarantee this was clear to the officer, he was fatally shot. This meant that the idea of a black person yielding a gun could prove fatal, especially when law enforcement arrives at a school shooting and identifies a black person with a gun, it is most likely for them to assume they pose a threat.

There is also no guarantee that an armed educator would succeed in stopping an active shooter. There is sufficient evidence indicating that people bearing weapons cannot always prevent gun violence. A shooting at a concert in Los Angeles that left 58 people dead had a significant number of revelers who had guns, but they were not able to stop the shooter from gunning down this massive number in a matter of minutes (Chuck & Siemaszko). Teachers who are ordinary people and have never found themselves in active combat may freeze or go into shock in case of a shooting.

There is also no logic in training teachers to carrying weapons. According to Adam Best, the CEO of States of Blue, the math behind training, and arming 20% of the teachers like Trump suggested is bonkers (Lahittou). Out of a population of 3.6 million teachers in public schools across America, Trump proposes to train at least 720,000. Besides the budget being hefty training, such a huge number would be a challenge. Again, police officers who receive more thorough training to handle weapons regularly fire at the wrong person or even miss.

Unless it’s okay to sacrifice teachers, arming them means they are the obvious first target. The possibility of knowing if a school shooter will be deterred with the knowledge of armed teachers is improbable. However, if the shooter still proceeds to attack, they would logically target the teachers first.

Without gun control, the security of schools has become a much more difficult task. Although there is an existing plausibility in arming teachers to some people. The logistical reality and the lack of evidence to predict the viability of the move have made many to oppose the move strongly.

Works Cited

Chuck, E., and C. Siemaszko. “‘Colossally Stupid Idea’: Trump’s Plan to Arm Teachers Widely Panned by Experts.” NBC News, 23 Feb. 2018, Accessed 15 Nov. 2019.

Lahittou, J. “6 Reasons We Shouldn’t Arm Teachers, According To These Thoughtful (And Scathing) Tweets.” Bustle, 22 Feb. 2018,

Sanchez, R. “Inside the Florida School Massacre, Moment by Moment.” CNN, 18 Feb. 2018, Accessed 15 Nov. 2019.

ITV News. “Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz ‘confesses’ as lawyer says he is broken by attack | ITV News.” YouTube, 15 Feb. 2018,