As children across the country head back to school this month, teachers in one Missouri school district are armed with more than just knowledge. In response to last year’s Sandy Hook shooting, the Fairview School District is allowing faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons. “We’re not going to wait around for the sheriff’s department to show up and take care of some incident,” said Principal Aaron Sydow in an article on the CBS St. Louis website.
The Clarksville School District in Arkansas tried to follow suit, responding to the concerns of parents after the fatal Connecticut shooting last December. The district selected 20 teachers and gave them each an $1,100 stipend for purchasing a gun and holster. The district also paid for training and was planning to cover the cost of ammunition, but backlash from the Attorney General forced the plan to be terminated this summer.
Recently, South Dakota passed a law allowing teachers and volunteers to carry firearms, though no districts have plans to implement the program this year.
These instances of arming teachers are few and far between. While some districts allow administrators to carry handguns, the majority are still opposed to putting them in the hands of anyone near children. According to a poll conducted by the National Education Association (NEA), most teachers themselves don’t want to be armed. The poll found that “only 22 percent of [NEA's] members favored a proposal to arm teachers and other school staffers; 68 percent opposed this idea, including 61 percent who indicated they strongly oppose it.”
What do you think?