In the aftermath of the shooting at a Parkland high school, which resulted in the deaths of 17 teachers and students, the Trump administration proposed a bizarre solution to the gun violence epidemic in the United States: arm teachers — and never mind all the research that show more guns in the hands of civilians lead to more deaths.
Teachers have rallied against the senseless policy, claiming they did not sign up to shoot people. However, some states, mindless of the educators’ objections, have already followed President Donald Trump’s advice.
There are now nine states that allow teachers to carry firearm within school campuses. One of them is Colorado, where 30 schools districts and charter schools have given teacher the green light to bring guns into classrooms, reports the Denver Post. Here’s the problem, though: there is no statewide gun safety training standard or policies that these teachers are supposed to follow. In fact, such matters are left entirely to the discretion of the individual school districts.
Ironically, it is an insurance company, the Colorado School Districts Self Insurance Pool, which has come up with the most regulated safety standards for school teachers with guns. However, it did not say which schools or districts are allowing its staff to bring firearms into campuses.
Colorado law allows school boards to designated armed teachers without training as security officers. However, in order to be insured, the staff needs to meet some requirements. These include 24 hours of gun training in the past year, 14 hours of live fire range training exercises, six hours of school “active shooter training” — whatever that means for teachers — four hours of classroom instruction of use of deadly force and gun safety and a shooting range tests reserved for police officers, according to the Denver Post.
Allowing teachers to carry firearms to school pose its own challenges. One, police officers get hundreds of hours of training to know how and when to shoot and how to avoid innocent casualties. The requirements laid down for the teacher only make up a fraction of that.
Firearms from preoccupied teachers can also be stolen by students bent on causing destruction inside the school.
Also, a teacher may be prompted to use their gun on an unarmed student during a confrontation. That’s very worrisome especially considering the fact students of color are more harshly dealt with for minor transgressions because of racial bias.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters