There Are Already Teachers Carrying Guns at School
Many schools have gun-free zones, but the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act lets states authorize certain people to carry guns on school grounds.
Besides Texas, Wyoming, Utah, and South Dakota let staff members with certain caveats carry guns on school grounds.
A gun-control advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety, stated that 15 states allow a concealed firearm in schools. This year two dozen states are considering similar policies.
Having a Policy for Arming Teachers Could Be a Minefield
Among the questions schools who want to arm their staff have to answer:
- Who is authorized to carry a firearm?
- Where will the gun be stored?
- Will armed employees get a bonus?
And that’s just the beginning.
There’s also the complex question of liability. Who will be responsible if something goes wrong? Many things could go awry as the weapon could accidentally discharge, a teacher could shoot an innocent bystander during an active-shooter situation, or a student could find or steal a teacher’s firearm.
Arming staff could be costly. A name-brand, top-quality, semi-automatic pistol or another type of handgun could cost anywhere between $500 to $1,200. And the notion of diverting already stretched resources to these and other costs such as firearms training could be a very hard sell. Maybe that’s why Texas is asking if its districts can tap into federal funding.
Who Opposes the Idea?
All the major principals, teachers, school employees, and school security organizations oppose guns in schools, except when carried by a security or police officer.
Not to mention most teachers and Americans oppose the idea.
A 2015 poll stated that 57% of all respondents were against letting staff and teachers carry guns in schools, though the idea was more acceptable among Republicans.