Cleveland Journal

Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers with guns falls on deaf ears

Senior+Jay+Kent+makes+a+statement+to+the+group+of+students+participating+in+the+walkout+on+March+14.
Senior Jay Kent makes a statement to the group of students participating in the walkout on March 14.

Senior Jay Kent makes a statement to the group of students participating in the walkout on March 14.

Tina Dang

Tina Dang

Senior Jay Kent makes a statement to the group of students participating in the walkout on March 14.

Jay Kent, Staff Reporter

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Columbine, Sandy Hook and now Parkland. For almost two decades, school shootings have been tearing out the hearts of our nation’s families. A er the latest mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., President Trump and his team gave their suggestion on combating school shootings: arming teachers with guns.

We, as a staff , believe that this suggestion from President Trump is one better left unfollowed, as teachers are already strained, it’s expensive and potentially dangerous.

“Doesn’t it get to be too much?” asked veteran West Virginia teacher Brianne Solo- man, who is known to help sup- ply food for student families in need. “On top of all the things we do, to have to remember when we’re supposed to have a gun?” Giving teachers rearms to watch over in school just adds stress to an already taxing job.

While President Trump is suggesting arming teachers nationally, some school districts have already been armed for years. A er the event of Sandy Hook in 2012, the Sidney City Schools district in Ohio introduced a security system focused on preventing potential damage during school shootings. This system costs the district around $300,000 a year, not counting the money spent on the actual guns, ammunition or bulletproof vests.

For Sidney City Schools, this expense is a drop in the bucket of their $36 million budget, but many other districts are not nearly as well funded. Upon hearing Trump’s suggestion, educators in West Virginia walked out in protest, arguing for a simple cost of living wage rather than dumping more money into guns.

While there is a point to be made in arming teachers could potentially save lives since they would be able to respond to active shooters faster than local police, it could also be equally dangerous. Having multiple armed staff members in hall- ways along with an active shoot- er could be confusing, especially in high pressure situations like a school shooting. Not to mention that teachers will be relatively inexperienced and untrained with their weapons. This confusion could lead to an even great- er accidental loss of life.

Arming teachers is not the way to combat the issues that plague our society. Teachers are already stressed, it’s expen- sive and it’s dangerous. There are many other ways we should be combatting this instead.

“I think as educators we’re trained to nurture kids and foster kids, and our first instinct is to not shoot or harm them,” said Baltimore teacher Jesse Wasmer, who wrestled a shot- gun away from an active school shooter years ago. “What we need is more caring adults in the kids’ lives, not more guns.”

Content Manager Jay Kent wrote this editorial for the Washington Journalism Education Association Write Off Competition. He received a Superior award for the piece.

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