Should teachers be allowed to carry guns?


Photo Credit: Janel Paredes

Sofia Chen, Copyright

Would you feel safe knowing your teacher is carrying a gun? With the ever-increasing threat of school shooters and incidents at school, many states are making a push toward arming their educators. 

One risk that comes with teachers being armed is that instead of protecting students, 

they do the opposite. According to CNN, “one such example is an incident at Dalton High School, northwest Georgia, where a teacher brought a gun to school, barricaded himself in his classroom, and fired a single shot.” Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the teacher was arrested.

No matter how many background checks are performed, you can never know what

 is going on in someone’s head. Anything can happen at any minute, and students should not have to fear that their teacher might one day use a gun against them. A UACHS junior, Veronika Cepeda, agrees that guns shouldn’t be in school.

“Where will they lock it up? What if a student gets access to it?,” said Cepeda. ‘How are we sure that they won’t use a gun on us just like the shooting in Dalton High School?”

Although teachers will receive training, there are possibilities of them mishandling the weapon. Aside from this accidents can occur.

According to The Conversation, “One study found that highly trained police in gunfights hit their target only 18% of the time. Even if teachers, who would likely have less training, achieve the same accuracy, four or five of every six bullets fired by a teacher would hit something or someone other than the shooter.” In a moment of crisis, the teacher will likely panic and or forget what to do, making the situation worse. Maya Castro, a Spanish teacher at UACHS, agrees that she might likely panic. 

“Really I don’t even know how to work an armed weapon and I wouldn’t know how to aim,” said Castro. “I don’t think I will have the urge, the stamina, and the energy to shoot.” 

Another topic that should be considered is how much arming teachers would cost. According to the Washington Post, “Let’s say we want the bare minimum, just enough to pass the safety requirement for gun ownership. In Maryland, there’s a company that will charge you $100 for that training. The cost, then, would be about $71.8 million for all of our teachers.” 

The better programs that will help prepare teachers will be more expensive, not to mention the cost of firearms. The world’s most popular pistol, the Glock G17 is $500 a piece so including that in, you can already imagine how expensive everything will be for 3.6 million teachers. With that kind of funding, we can use that money to address the most pervasive issues in education.

As of now, at least 28 states, including Texas, currently allow teachers or school staff to be armed in the classroom under varying conditions. However, a teacher is a teacher and not a specially trained law enforcement officer.

“The con is that one teacher becomes sort of irresponsible for a moment with the armed weapon and a student grabs it,” said Castro. “A student whose violent… God Forbid.”

We should focus on promoting safety, community and trust rather than just putting guns in the hands of teachers. What we need right now is to help students deal with the pressures being a teenager and school, so that we can address conflicts before they become violent. Schools should be safe places for both students and teachers and more guns are not the solution.