Debate time! Should teachers be armed in order to protect their students?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Caesar753, Jun 22, 2014.

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  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Ready, set, go!
     
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  3. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Nope.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    No. The idea of this terrifies me.
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    No. I live in a community where many of the men and women hunt and consequently are comfortable with guns. Of course, that means I am also aware of hunting accidents- some of them fatal. We have police officers in the school for DARE, and I'm not at all concerned about them being armed in the school because they are so well trained.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    **** no.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    The district should not mandate that all teachers be armed. Schools should have armed personnel whether that be police officers or specially and highly trained staff that have been and continue to go through screenings.
     
  8. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Definitely not, but schools should have policemen.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Not mandated by any means. But I'm not sure how I feel about allowing staff to be armed. I used to work in a really bad neighborhood and would have felt much more comfortable if I had been able to carry a firearm as I walked to the parking lot in the evenings. As it was I refused to work past dusk, which caused some issues. I also left the school as soon as I could. The only issue being its location.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    You are definitely loving debates these days, aren't you! ;)

    I don't think that it's something that would help. We've had this conversation here before and someone posted a great study they did in how rarely a layperson can actually handle aiming and shooting the right person in a situation like that. We had one here recently in a store where the innocent bystander who was armed shot and killed a clerk because he was aiming at a robber leaving the store and missed. Certainly you wouldn't want to take those kinds of chances around children. I wouldn't want to work in that kind of environment and I certainly don't think it's the solution.
     
  11. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    No way. I can't even imagine what would happen if a student somehow got a hold of a teacher's weapon. Just horrible.

    I do love having so many armed security/police on campus, though.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Frankly, that isn't a responsibility I want. I didn't sign up to be an armed guard and I wear too many hats as it is.

    I grew up in a rural area. I'd say that 1/4 of the boys brought guns to school at some point in the year. In the school I mention previously I'd guess that 1/10 of the boys brought guns to school at some point. The guns were used for radically different reasons. Having guns on campus is not the problem - it is the intention of those that have them that is the problem.

    There are two students at my current school that I could see trying to take a gun from a staff member and using it on someone while in a fit of rage. These are students that have already used other objects as weapons: fists, desks, books.

    Too many variables to make it a mandate.
     
  13. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Lately on Facebook I've seen a lot of parents post articles or comments saying that all teachers need to be trained and armed. I work in a very bad neighborhood, but I still would not feel comfortable with this. I don't think it's something I should be responsible for and I can't imagine putting guns in the hands of every teacher for 'in case of' situations. I do wish sometimes that we had a school police officer. Last year I had a situation where a parent came in to volunteer, and unknown to us was suffering from a mental illness and had decided to stop taking medication. The parent had a breakdown in front of my class and it was one of the scariest things I've ever dealt with. While I wouldn't want to be armed, it would have been reassuring to have a police officer to come in and help.
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    As a teacher, I would not feel comfortable carrying a gun. At my school, there are police who guard the school who are armed, and that´s good enough for me. However, schools in Mexico (or at least many of them, and definitely the private ones) are walled in and it would not be easy for someone to get in the way we have security set up.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    No way. I'd never be comfortable carrying a gun while teaching.

    The principal, secretary, and guidance counselor I'd consider.
     
  16. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Nope.
    The lack of gun control is our problem. It is too late now, but other than hunting rifles, civilians should have never had access to hand guns. Or machine guns!


    ETA- When this becomes the norm is when I leave the profession.
     
  17. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I agree completely.

    Again, agreed although I have no interest in debating this. Nothing will change my mind anyway. I also agree that it would probably be one of the few things that could get me to leave teaching. There's just no way I'm carrying a gun, especially into a building filled with children. It's not happening.
     
  18. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Absolutely not. My dad is a police officer. I told him the day a school tells me I need to be trained to carry a gun is the day I quit being a teacher. It's not happening.
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I completely agree. I would NEVER carry a gun on a school campus, or work at a school where laypeople are carrying guns. However, I work in California, so that is very unlikely to ever happen here.

    I've thought about this before and I just don't see how any good could come out of it. At my elementary school, we have several students with special needs and severe behaviors. I had one in my class last year. These students are sometimes very unpredictable. I could see one of them getting a teacher's gun and doing some real damage, and these are 6-8 year olds. I can't even imagine at the higher levels. And if the gun was locked away where students couldn't get it, then it's unlikely the teacher would be able to access it quickly enough in a real emergency anyway.

    I would NEVER do it. I am NOT comfortable with guns, especially around children! Too many things could go wrong.
     
  20. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Absolutely not!
     
  21. cafekarma

    cafekarma Rookie

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    I'm almost tempted to play devil's advocate just to get the debate rolling, but I just can't. NO, we don't need guns. I don't want to imagine my colleagues with guns or joking in private about situations where they would like to use their guns. I agree that it's very risky to have a gun in the classroom just waiting for a child to find it. This is just a minor point, but it would be distracting for the kids, too! Could you imagine if your teachers had had guns in some mysterious location in your classroom? I can't.

    We would look like the ultimate buffoons in the eyes of pretty much everyone outside the US if we took this route. And that's exactly what we would be.
     
  22. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    LOL...This is definitely not a debate. I agree with everyone else. I like that my school has access controls, so anyone looking to get in has to press a buzzer first and speak with someone in the front office.
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    And what would the guidelines be? Could we use it when an irate parent acts hostile? What about a student threatening us? I've even seen colleagues come close to blows before-what if one was armed? It opens up a whole new world of liability.

    I think a lot of these parents who are for it would change their minds if they walked into Open House and saw their child's Kindergarten teacher wearing a gun holster. In my opinion it would send the wrong message to students.
     
  24. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Protect the students? What about protecting ourselves?:lol::lol:

    Seriously though, no.
     
  25. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'll bite.

    What's the difference between a police officer and a teacher who's been through identical training and held to the same standards in the use of lethal force?

    How does being a police officer suddenly make a person more able to use such training over a person who has not been deputized/sworn in?
     
  26. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    We have a former cop teaching at my school. And several veterans. All of which have had extensive training.
     
  27. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    A police officer spends all day putting themselves in potentially deadly situations. A teacher spends all day around children. Except for rare circumstances, a teacher isn't going to be spending their entire working life constantly aware they could be in a deadly confrontation at any moment. All it takes is for a teacher to once... just ONCE... forget that they have a gun on them for a child to get it and decide that it's a toy. It would not be a question of if there would be deadly accidents. It would be a question of how many and how often.
     
  28. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    And keep in mind also that police officers are constantly facing questions of police brutality.
     
  29. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't want to have one but I would love to have an SRO or two on campus.
     
  30. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Well....

    1) A police officer wears a standard uniform, so that when other police officers arrive and see him/her waving a gun around they don't shoot (usually).

    2) Police officers are not burdened with things like PT conferences, grading homework, creating lesson plans, and the like -- and so can devote their time to things like continual training to their skills sharp.
     
  31. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    This doesn't matter to me. If I wanted to be armed and dangerous, I might have become a cop, but I didn't. I want to teach, not be responsible for killing people. I have no interest in being trained to shoot bad guys. I am scared to death of guns as well as being repulsed by them. My job as a teacher shouldn't require me to exchange gunfire. If that had been a requirement, I never would've gone into this profession.
     
  32. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    :yeahthat:

    I've long suspected that many of the students sitting in the desks in front of me carry enough fire-power to ward off any school intruder. :lol:
     
  33. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    And quite often the "bad guys" in school shootings are children themselves-I personally could never live with myself if I was responsible for the death of a child, even if there were extenuating circumstances.

    There is a huge difference between a police officer and a teacher-as others have said officers use their training every day. I was trained once in CPR-I'm not sure I would actually have the confidence to use it in an emergency.
     
  34. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    I wouldn't probably actually carry one to work in a school, just because of the liability/issue of "what if" a child actually got a hold of it. I definitely agree with the points from everyone.

    But... does anyone here carry a gun otherwise? I'm just curious if you're against it all around, or just in the school/work setting. I don't want to be the typical Texas stereotype, lol, but my bf carries one to his work, and just about anywhere we go. Concealed though, not like he's got a huge rifle slung across his back as we shop in Krogers. He's a former Marine, so I totally trust that he knows what to do, should a situation ever happen.
     
  35. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't carry a gun and have no desire to ever do so.
     
  36. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I don't carry a gun for many reasons. However, I do carry a taser and pepper spray (or whatever the legal equivalent in my state is. It's down in my car, but I don't think it's actually pepper spray) for personal protection. I would never be willing to even carry those in a classroom though.
     
  37. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    :agreed:

    I also believe some of my students are carrying weapons. Enough get caught each year to make it likely.

    I've often wondered what would happen if a school shooting was attempted in an inner-city school.
     
  38. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    The trouble with the idea that police officers use their training in the use of deadly force every day is that it's patently untrue. Most officers go years, and even their entire careers, without pulling their weapons, let alone firing them. Additionally, police work, while dangerous at times, is not as routinely dangerous as the general public believes.

    While by no means comprehensive, a recent report by the NYPD showing the data of police-involved shootings sheds some light on the subject. According to the "2011 Firearms Discharge Report",
    "There were, on average, 34,565 uniformed officers employed by the NYPD in 2011. Of them, only 62—0.18 percent—intentionally discharged a firearm at a subject."​
    (page 33) Additionally, NYPD responded to 4 Million calls in 2011. Of these calls, 20,000 involved weapons: that's 0.5% of all the calls the officers responded to, or one out of every two hundred calls. The full report can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downlo...ypd_annual_firearms_discharge_report_2011.pdf

    The majority of a police officer's day is not spent confronting suspects or responding to crimes in progress. Police officers spend their days responding to traffic accidents, investigating crimes already committed, doing paperwork, engaging in public outreach programs, and patrolling, among other non-dangerous duties. Additionally, this particular report was from NYC, a city known for its violent crime rate. Smaller departments, departments in less violent cities, and departments specialized to school districts (and school resource officers), will have even lower numbers than NYC's already low rates.

    Now granted, that data only includes the use of weapons, either by the police or the suspects. Another study that attempted to quantify the danger of the job looked at traffic stops. The American psyche is fully convinced that a police officer is in extreme danger during a routine traffic stop. After all, it's a big deal when a traffic stop goes wrong, and the story is plastered across the internet and the evening news. The problem is, of course, that the data doesn't support that notion. In The Journal of Criminal Justice, Illya D. Lichtenberg and Alisa Smith analyze the data comparing the total number of traffic stops in the US to the number of bad outcomes over a ten year period. They found the "danger ratio" of a police officer being assaulted during routine traffic stops to be, on average, 1 in 10,256 traffic stops. Doing the math, that means that a police officer has a 0.00976% chance of a bad outcome every time he or she pulls somebody over. That's not a very substantial risk. The full study can be found here: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/jbs/Criminal Procedure in American Society/OfficersAssaulted.pdf

    Now, that's not to say that the police don't have a dangerous job. They do, but they're definitely not facing life or death situations every day, so the idea that a police officer is inherently more qualified to use a weapon in a life-threatening situation simply because of his job doesn't stand up to facts. Instead, what makes a police officer qualified to assess the need for, and to use deadly force is his constant, ongoing and intense training. This training absolutely could be duplicated for anybody willing to undergo it.

    Another issue to consider is that many of the responses have been "I'd never want to carry a gun to teach". I don't believe that's the nature of this discussion. The question wasn't "Should every teacher be forced to carry a gun?" It was "Should any teacher be allowed to carry a gun?" These are two very different questions.
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My daughter is 2 years old. She will start kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year. If I walked in on the first day and her teacher was carrying a gun, I'd walk out the door and never take her back.

    I'm also not sure you're really taking into account the fact that those numbers are still far more common than a teacher. If we consider each student day present to be roughly equivalent to a traffic stop interaction in terms of having a weapon, then a school of 700 kids would have 135,800 interactions in a year (even without considering parents/other adults coming in to the school). At the same rate of 1 in 10,256, that would mean an average school would have 13 teacher assaults per school year. Now... how many schools with 700 kids have 13 teachers get assaulted every year?
     
  40. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    More than you might think, since assault is defined fairly loosely and can include mundane things such as throwing a pencil, spitting, slapping, shoving and other actions not likely to cause real harm. One of the weakness of the traffic stop study I posted (and there were several weakness, by the way), is that it included such a weak definition of "assault".

    So again, we're down to the only difference being training. What makes a police officer inherently more special than anybody else with identical training? So far, the only responses to the question have relied on emotion and perception, and not actual fact.
     
  41. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Police officers are inherently dealing with people that in some way broke the law. Teachers deal with children. I consider it almost offensive to compare the risk factor of the two. Maybe I'd feel differently if I worked with older students, or in a more dangerous city, but I'd be absolutely appalled to see any person wearing a gun in my school, and I can guarantee that it would make my school a worse, less successful building.
     
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