Will Arming Teachers Limit Gun Violence?

By Elizabeth Maharaj ’19 and Zehaa Albraidi ’19

Imagine going to school one day, not knowing whether students at your school will get shot. Imagine being a parent, hearing on the news that there has been another school shooting, and thinking it’s your child’s school and there’s a chance they got hurt.

Three months into 2018, there have already been at least 12 school shootings. As people, friends, and family members of the victims are protesting for gun control,

President Trump believes adding guns to this problem is going to make it safer. He believes teachers should be armed while in school.

The school shooting that led to this idea occurred on February 14, 2018, when Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This shooting was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S history, leading to 17 victims dying and many others wounded.

Students are now worrying about their lives being in danger while being in school, and the fact that teachers are going to be armed doesn’t make some students feel any safer.

“I would probably not go to school anymore because my life would be in danger,” said Amal Alzokari ’19. “Teachers should not be able to have any access to guns because having more guns would just cause more shootings. In order to control school shooting, we must limit guns.”

Alzokari isn’t the only student who would probably stop going to school. Christina Wu ’19 believes that if a teacher gets agitated enough, they may use the gun on the students.

Think about how much money the United States will have to spend in order to arm every teacher in America. It will cost a lot of money just for our school.

“Arming teachers with guns is a waste of tax dollars and puts students and staff members at risk,” Wu said. “If a student gets a hold of the gun that a teacher has, people could be harmed.”

If Trump’s idea goes into play, just about any student could get a hold of a gun and start shooting since the guns are only a few steps away from them.

Samer Alharbi, a student who attends the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes that being a Muslim might cause him harm.

“Personally for me, since I am a Muslim, what if there’s Islamophobic teachers in the school? I would be insecure, and I’ll be fearing for my life,” he said.

According to the New York Times article “Let the Teachers Teach,” written by the Times editorial board, even police officers hit their targets only one-third of the time, and since teachers are only human, there is a chance that they will panic and shoot the wrong person if they are put into a situation where there is a school shooter and they need to shoot.

“I think some students would want teachers to have guns just in case there is a school shooter, a teacher can just take the gun and shoot,” said Nalain Abbas ’18. Abbas doesn’t want teachers to have guns, but he can see why some students would.

“A few years back, there were police officers stationed in every school,” said Mr. Brian Molter, one of the deans and an art teacher who wants to bring back police as a better solution for this situation. “If a little smelly, old liquor store on Flatbush Ave can offer to pay a police officer to moonlight and protect their store, the school system can definitely offer a retired police officer to protect the school.”

According to the Task & Post, it takes months for a Marine to learn how to shoot a gun and hit a target, and teachers probably won’t have the time to learn how to use a gun and have a whole lesson plan ready for their students, which is why some teachers believe they shouldn’t have guns.

“Overall, teachers are untrained, and it is a very unreasonable idea because now students will even try to make the teacher their first victim,” said Mr. David Walters, a math teacher.

“They let an armed man come in without knowing, imagine how students would react knowing all teachers are armed.”

Teachers are here to teach, so security guards should be the ones to have guns, said Mr. Giovanni Gil, a math teacher. He believes that to get a gun, a person must go through a whole screening process and a background check.

Parents don’t know what’s going to happen to their kids during school. As parents, they should not have to be  worried about their kids being in a threatening environment.

“As a parent and a teacher, I believe students should feel safe at school and be there to get an education,” said Mila Tolkacheva, parent of Vasilisa Tolkacheva ’19. “Having us hold guns takes away that feeling. It’s not practical. There are other solutions to this issue that can and should be taken,” she said.

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