Miles Scroggins, Staff Writer
After the tragic mass shooting that took place over a week ago at a Florida high school, President Trump proposed to arm teachers with guns to ensure the safety of students. This issue has been aggressively debated between lawmakers in several states. There have been several notions that gun-free zones, especially schools, are easy targets. None of this gives any reason to believe that teachers are necessarily qualified, nor responsible, to keep an armed weapon in the classroom.
Teachers have only one job: to educate students, and this is a challenge even by itself. Their only responsibility is to educate and mold the minds of children so that one day they will not make the same mistake as the school shooters. Being a teacher does not mean they have the skill or the expertise to carry a firearm and to use it around students. And if there is an emergency situation in which lives are in danger, teachers are supposed to get their kids to safety instead of trying to be a sharpshooter.
It is highly possible that the gun a teacher carries can be taken by a student. In the case of students from first to fifth grade, it is a much worse scenario. Kids get their hands on anything they can find, whether they know how to use it or not. Some think of it as a toy, and others use it to strike fear in the hearts of other kids.
Most important of all, kids will be afraid to come to school. The teachers are meant to inspire their students with the lessons they give. Children will not be able to feel safe knowing that there is a gun or any other weapon within the atmosphere of their classrooms. Guns have the ability to silence the voice of civics, as well as the voice that helps these students learn about what it means to live with one another. Guns enforce fear, and fear makes it hard to look up to the people who are supposed to make them feel secure.
Teachers should not be allowed to carry a weapon in their classrooms. The number of situations and complications to the safety of their students are countless. What the schools need is proper security monitoring of the scene. Teachers should not be qualified to use a gun around students. Districts need to trust and ensure that their school have a good number of security guards and officers looking over the school and the students. The use of the firearm needs to be handled by the trained professionals; that is how the students feel safe. Teachers may be heroes, but they are not soldiers.
This article first appeared in the Friday, March 2, 2018, Edition of The Echo.