School Shootings and the Arming Teachers: Problem-Solution Essay

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In these last couple years many tragic shooting events have been occurring in many elementary and high schools in the United States. Every day parents and teachers worry about their students’ safety and try their hardest to keep a safe environment for them. Even as time goes by, these incidents are increasing day by day, giving the rising probability of a shooter coming to their school. In schools, danger is increasing; instead, it should be depleting. That is where the topic of arming teachers comes into place.

With the number of gun incidents in schools increasing each year, arming school personnel, especially teachers, can improve student safety on campus. The closest people to the children are the teachers, with them always so close they are able to protect the children on time and sufficiently. Even though there is ‘no empirical evidence’, states authors Sonali Rajan and Branas Charles in ‘Arming Schoolteachers: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go from Here?’, on how campus safety can improve, teachers could be a change to better students’ safety. Implementing armed teachers will have a chance to defend innocent students’ lives instead of becoming another statistic. Being able to try something new gives the school faculty the power to be able to control situations which involve gun threats. People will get to see that arming teachers with guns will keep the crazy shooter away, because no human with a gun would dare to go on a campus where they have armed and trained teachers ready to protect their students.

Another reason why armed teachers should be implemented is that the police cannot always be trusted in these situations. Law enforcement are not always on time when it comes to protecting students, leaving them vulnerable in life-threatening situations. Most of the time when law enforcement finally gets to their destined location, most of the damage has most likely already been done. Law enforcement is the primary system many people contact when their lives are being threatened, but what happens when the police are not able to be there on time? According to the article ‘Counterpoint: Arming Teachers and School Staff Helps Protect Students’, which is sourced from Points of View: School Safety & Arming Teachers, explains one incident concerning this problem. A school in Idaho “reported that police response would take up to one hour and forty-five minutes, leaving students in a school shooting scenario entirely unprotected unless on-site staff were armed”. This situation that has happened for this school in Idaho confirms that this is a considerably huge possibility of the police coming late to other schools. With this possibility, it leaves innocent students unprotected and vulnerable in life-threatening situations, letting them most likely fending for themselves. Having armed the staff on-site ready to go and protect students have less chance of students being harm's way.

Being armed is the only way to protect others from those who are also armed. Another comment used by the source Points of View: School Safety & Arming Teachers involves being armed is when they quoted the NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre. Regarding the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he says: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun”. Justifying that in order to protect students efficiently and successfully, student faculty needs the same weapon to fight back.

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Many people oppose arming teachers, and there are several reasons for this. In a YouTube video put up by the channel CBS This Morning, owned by a famous news channel, CBS, which is titled ‘What’s It Like for Teachers at a School That Allows Armed Staff?’, shows an anchor Nikki Battiste interviewing armed teachers in a rural Colorado high school. Nikki Battiste tries to find out whether the fears spread in society are really justified. First, the video discusses whether arming puts pressure on teachers. As it turns out, actually the teachers are not pressured into being armed, Carl Donaldson, a science teacher on this campus, is an example of this. Donaldson has freely “volunteered to carry a firearm in class” (0:43-45). Teachers have a choice whether or not to be armed, but Donaldson chose to do it because it was something he “felt he had to do” (0:42-43). Since the high school is in a rural area, it is also an example of further proving that law enforcement is not able to be there on time for students since the “nearest law enforcement office is about 25 minutes away” from this school (0:47-51). Adding this onto another reason why Donaldson agreed to be armed since by the time the police get to the campus most of the damage most likely had already been done. Donaldson then went on and agreed with having armed teachers since “they are always the first ones to respond. Why not give them something to fight back with?” (0:57-1:02). For this reason, this is why there needs to be armed teachers on school grounds in order to enhance students’ safety.

Furthermore, many parents and outsiders worry if the gun can ever get into the wrong hands as an example, a student. Halfway into the video the anchor/interviewee, Battiste, asks Donaldson if the gun is loaded, and he responds with that guns are never loaded in class unless something were to happen, and it’s always wrapped around his leg (1:17-1:20). It shows people that they need not worry about the guns going off in class or the gun ending up in the wrong hands since it will need something to load it with in order to be fired.

Another question asked by Battiste was if the other teachers felt safer since other teachers were armed around them, the teachers responded that they are okay with this (2:46-2:51).

An equally important thing that many worry about is training. In the video, they explained about ‘Faster’, a program that is provided for the teachers. Battiste explains that “'Faster' is a three-day course that trains teachers like Donaldson in firearms and trauma response and includes a simulated school shooting scenario” (1:37-1:45). This program helps trains teachers what to do in real life-threatening situations that can happen on campus, preparing them for future events. One of the biggest things that this program also helps with also is the trauma response for the teacher, which is the best for their mental health.

Above all, there has been much controversy when it comes to arming teachers. However, I believe that arming them decreases the chances of a shooter being able to go onto campus and harm vulnerable children. It is clear that in every school, the first priority of teachers and other school faculty should be students' safety. With teachers being armed, they will be the most effective solution to successfully save and protect their students in life threatening-situations since they are the closest to them. As it goes on, many law enforcement offices are not likely to be there in time if any of these situations happen, but if teachers were armed this would not be put into discussion. Finally, I think that armed teachers need to be implemented since a shooter will think twice before going and hurting innocent children since the teachers will be there ready and armed to protect them.

Works Cited

  1. CBS This Morning. 'What's It Like for Teachers at a School That Allows Armed Staff?'. YouTube. 23 Feb. 2018. CBS. Accessed 19 May 2019.
  2. Center for Homeland Defense and Security. ‘Incidents by Year’. ​K-12 School Shooting Database​, FEMA, 7 May 2019. Accessed 18 May 2019.
  3. Collier, Lorna. 'School Safety: Can Gun Violence in Schools Be Prevented?​'. CQ Researcher by CQ Press​. 17 May 2019. CQ Press. Accessed 19 May 2019.
  4. ‘Counterpoint: Arming Teachers and School Staff Helps Protect Students’. ​Points of View: School Safety & Arming Teachers​, Sept. 2018, p.3. ​EBSCOhost.
  5. ‘UPDATED: Mass Public Shootings Keep Occurring in Gun-Free Zones: 97.8% of Attacks Since 1950’. ​Crime Prevention Research Center​, 3 Dec. 2018. Accessed 28 May 2019.
  6. Rajan, Sonali, and Charles C. Branas. ‘Arming Schoolteachers: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go From Here?’. ​American Journal of Public Health, vol. 108, no. 7, July 2018, pp.860–862. ​EBSCOhost​, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304464.
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School Shootings and the Arming Teachers: Problem-Solution Essay. (2023, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
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