Should Teachers Be Allowed to Have Guns on Campus?

Alexis Virgen and Xandra Lancaster

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In light of numerous school shootings and student protests to change gun laws and prevent massacres, many school boards are actively discussing the possibility of teachers arming themselves with guns.

A new California poll released by the San Jose Mercury News says 8 in 10 parents worry about the possibility of a mass shooting in public schools; however the majority oppose the idea of arming teachers with guns. The Charger decided to find out how the teachers at Bullard High School felt about this proposition by conducting an unscientific survey on how Bullard’s 101 teachers felt about the controversial proposal suggested even by President Trump.

Surveys were handed out to all teachers, asking their opinion about teachers carrying concealed weapons on campus. 

An overwhelming amount of teachers rejected the idea. One history teacher, Onesta Francis, said he thinks that there is already enough for teachers to do in the classroom and being a security guard should not be one of them.

He continued on to discuss why some teachers might want to carry guns: “You know, I teach history, and we are talking about World War I and the concepts of militarism. So if your neighbor is building their army, you’ll want to build your army; if your neighbor has guns, then you’ll want guns. It’s human nature. On top of that, this militarism is driven by fear, and I always tell my students we don’t want fear to make our decisions for us, we want to be our own man.”

Reporters also met with another history teacher on campus, Mrs. Jamie Vannata, a gun owner and hunter. Even though she is a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment, she agrees with Francis: “I think it’s unsafe. I do not think teachers should be carrying guns in classrooms, even if they are trained, even if they are authorized. I just do not feel that it is a safe environment for the kids. I just don’t.”

51 of their peers agreed with them. However, 18 supported the idea of teachers carrying guns to protect against an intruder. Two expressed mixed feelings on the subject. In all, 71 teacher responses were returned.

Math teacher, Jeff Haas, is totally on board with arming teachers. He thinks that “it’s a smart way to prevent tragedies,” like at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people lost their lives at the hands of an intruder with an AR-15. He goes on to say, “I would rather have guns on campus than outside.”  

Race and Social Justice teacher, Rick Clarke, disagrees with Haas and adamantly says that he thinks that arming teachers with guns is a bad idea. However, he will listen to what the opposition has to say and respect their opinion, even though he says that there can be no compromise between the two sides of this argument.

Clarke says if guns are handed to the teachers and staff, he would retire.

 

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