Arming teachers is a bad idea

Spread the love

The first paragraph of an article from

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas school districts can’t use a little-known state law to employ teachers and staff as guards who can carry guns on campus, the state’s attorney general said Thursday in an opinion that likely ends a district’s plan to arm more than 20 employees when school starts later this year.

Sanity prevailed here. Even in these scary times, arming teachers is a foolish plan. Remember that first-year, New York teacher who threw herself down the stairs, trying to avoid a second, bad classroom review? Remember the man who shot himself to death in his own classroom, planning for students to find his dead body? And while a Google search on “teacher attacks students” mostly returns articles about students attacking teachers, there are a few sobering stories of students being kicked, punched and even shoved into walls and lab tables by instructors. I remember one frustrated little woman, a first-year teacher who took a student’s electronic device, hurled it to the floor and stomped it into pieces, breaking the thing into tiny shards of plastic and metallic innards. I had no clue what the device had once been. That teacher left after her first year and I doubt she’s still teaching. Many equally fragile teachers remain in the classroom, though.

To be blunt, I want to say that if you arm teachers, one of them –somewhere, someday — is going to shoot up a school for sure. Teaching is far more stressful than postal work. Add to that the fact that we are not vetting our teachers for mental health. Employment applications don’t check to see if an applicant is half a bubble off plumb — or just plain bananas.

I recently filled out a number of those applications. They want to know if I am behind on student loans, if I have been convicted of crimes other than traffic tickets, if I am delinquent in child-support payments, if I have ever been accused of child abuse, if I am in the Sex Offender database, etc. But no one has ever asked  about my sanity. My mental and physical health history are mostly off-limits by law, as they are for job applicants all across the country. The district isn’t even supposed to ask me if I am married or have children.

If a district feels the need to put a policeman on site, that makes sense, but guns should otherwise be kept out the school. Period.