Pencils, lesson plan books, red pens, and ... guns! Yep, when teachers, administrators, and other employees at Clarksville High School in Arkansas head back to class next month, a full 20 of those school staffers and teachers will be armed with guns. Guns that the school district paid for.
What are these people thinking?!
Well, apparently they're thinking this is a good way to spend money -- to the tune of a $1,100 stipend per person to buy the handguns and holsters, plus $50,000 for ammunition and "training." They're also thinking this is a good way to keep their students safe. I know plenty of people will applaud this move, but I could not disagree more.
I have so many questions about this, not the least of which is: Where are these guns going to be secured? What location could they be in where it would be TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE for students to access them, but where they'd still be handy enough for those teachers to reach in the event of an emergency? Or are they actually going to stand at the front of a class and teach English and math with a holster containing a loaded gun?
And who is going to decide what kind of emergency warrants, say, a history teacher drawing a weapon? Is it only against an "outside threat"? What if a fight breaks out in class and the teacher feels threatened? The chances of an attack like the tragic Sandy Hook massacre are very, very slim compared to all of the issues that arise on a daily basis. Kids become unhinged; they can get aggressive or seem violent ... that's just par for the course. TWENTY concealed weapons in one high school sounds like a recipe for disaster. Guns shouldn't be in the mix. At all.
Yes, yes, I understand that it's not the inanimate object of a gun that can kill; it's the gun in the hands of the wrong person that kills. Duh. But who's deciding who gets to bring these concealed weapons to school? And how are these educators going to be trained? Isn't this the kind of thing that should be left to police officers and actual security guards? Can whatever training that's being provided guarantee that that there is NO way students -- or anyone else for that matter -- can access these weapons? That these teachers will make the right decisions 100 percent of the time? Will this training guarantee that, heaven forbid, no student will be accidentally shot?
I don't believe that all guns should be outlawed, but I do believe in sensible regulation and gun control. And I sure as hell don't think a school is any place for 20 concealed weapons.
Would you feel comfortable if the teachers in your school carried concealed weapons?
Image via kcdsTM/Flickr