The notion of arming teachers or letting concealed-carry permit holders bring guns into schools is typically circulated after school attacks. It got attention after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The sheriff heading a Florida commission investigating the Parkland massacre said he felt trained, volunteer teachers, should have access to guns as a last line of defense in a school shooting.
Also, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made it clear that she feels districts have the flexibility to use federal funding to arm teachers.
But putting guns in the hands of school staff is frequently met with resistance from educators, who state they don’t want the responsibility of securing and carrying a firearm on top of their already taxing jobs. Numerous teachers feel that arming themselves would make schools less safe.
Who Supports the Idea?
For one, President Trump. At a speech just after the Parkland shooting, he stated that armed teachers with experience and training who love their students may be better able to protect them in an active shooting scenario than an armed police officer.
DeVos herself is not against arming educators. At her 2017 Senate confirmation hearing, she suggested teachers might need guns to fight potential grizzly bears. As the head of a federal school safety commission, she’s also been hearing from some supporters of the idea.
Not surprisingly, gun-rights advocates have long pushed for laws that let teachers carry weapons.
And education officials in Texas, where some teachers are already packing heat at school, are all for it. They were the ones who asked DeVos and her staff if certain federal funding can be used by school districts to pay for firearms training and firearms for school staff members.