US Lawmakers Have Proposed Arming Teachers. Here's How Teachers Feel About That.

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The Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 students and faculty dead, has reignited ever-present calls for stricter gun control laws and strengthening of the background check system for gun purchases.
Another proposal that has gotten renewed attention is arming teachers in the classroom.
After 20 children and 6 school administrators were murdered by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the National Rifle Association put out a report suggesting school staff should be trained and armed on school grounds.
While the proposal has been assailed, that hasn't stopped some elected officials and law enforcement professionals from seriously suggesting it in the wake of the latest school shooting.
Since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, there have been 25 school shootings in the US, but little change in gun laws.
“I believe that school teachers should be taught how to deal with guns, when guns come to the classroom,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.
The idea was also underscored by former House Speaker and current conservative radio staple Newt Gingrich. "If we are really serious about protecting our children, we must have trained and equipped protectors prepared to handle this type of situation whenever there are school activities," Gingrich wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.

The day I am required to carry a gun in my classroom is the day I leave education.

Jenny Jordan
However, Refinery29 spoke to teachers who believe arming educators is not the way to stop school shootings.
"I think the idea of arming teachers is insane. Its a classroom, not a prison," Jenny Jordan a high school history, economics and government teacher in Kansas tells Refinery29. "How am I supposed to create a positive, supportive, and safe culture in my room if I am armed? How am I supposed to teach effectively if I am carrying or there is a gun locked up in my room? The day I am required to carry a gun in my classroom is the day I leave education."
Jordan — who grew up in a household with guns — says she has "nightmares about school shootings" and thinks often about how she would respond. "Where would we hide? Would I be able to break out the window and escape? Its really sad to see whenever there is a loud crash or bang, everyone stops and looks around with a worried look in their eyes."
Jordan's feelings of fear and anxiety were echoed by other teachers, as well. "I’m very concerned about school shootings, many surrounding schools have had guns found on the premises," a kindergarten teacher in Virginia tells Refinery29. (This teacher did not want her name used in this piece out of concerns for her privacy.) "To protect our kids it will take the passing of a law. Prevent these things from happening — not arm the teachers 'just in case.' What happens if a kid gains access to teacher weapons or someone breaks in to steal them? That’s just absurd. More guns are not the solution!"
Claudine Williams, who teaches sixth through eighth grade in the Bronx, New York agrees that teachers should not be armed. "At this point I think we need to have metal detectors in all schools and even a police officer on staff. School shootings have been increasing and we are losing too many innocent lives due to this nonsense," Williams tells Refinery29.

At no point in our profession should we feel the need to ever use violence in a classroom under any circumstance and we should firmly represent this attitude in order to educate our young people to follow suit.

Lauren Fallows
While many US teachers have anxiety over the possibility of a school shooting, that feeling is somewhat unfamiliar to teachers in the UK, where we have much stricter gun laws.
"In terms of my normal working day, I can't say a school shooting has ever crossed my mind as an active worry, it's just not on my radar as something that could potentially happen to me during my day at work," Lauren Fallows, a secondary school English teacher in Blackburn (45 minutes outside of Manchester, England), tells Refinery29. "I'd go as far as to say that the thought of that happening is as alien to me as an elephant arriving at my classroom ready to study Shakespeare."
Fallows says she does not believe teachers should be armed, but that belief could be "influenced by the culture we have here in the UK a culture in which I feel safe at work."
"At no point in our profession should we feel the need to ever use violence in a classroom under any circumstance and we should firmly represent this attitude in order to educate our young people to follow suit," Fallows says. She also says that banning the sale of firearms entirely would be a solution to the problem of school shootings in the US.
"I feel that gun culture creates gun culture; you need one, so I need one, so everyone's needs one," Fallows adds."Before you know it, the whole world is armed and guns are in the hands of those who aren't fit to have them."

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