School grounds should not be battle grounds

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By: Dylan Brennan, Columnist 

One day, I hope to be a history teacher. I also hope that when that day comes, I don’t have to be armed in school. The debates keep springing up after the Parkland school shooting and have included many things from banning or limiting certain firearms — the cause for this shooting — to whether we should arm teachers to prevent another massacre.

I can’t say it’s the stupidest solution I’ve ever heard, but it certainly isn’t the wisest. First and foremost, if I wanted to have a gun on me and be trained to shoot, I’d be a hunter or a soldier instead of a teacher. I want to be a teacher because I know attaining and spreading knowledge of the world to everyone I meet makes for a more informed and better future. Security guards and resource officers are there for the purpose of safety, but even they aren’t the solution. The  presence of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resource officer didn’t deter the shooter, and the resource officer himself did nothing to intervene.

That brings me to another point: What if the teachers choke up? If someone was coming to shoot up the school, I’d be wearing a sweater vest, not a Kevlar vest. I’d definitely not be prepared to fight off an assault rifle with a dinky handgun, which I’m assuming these people are proposing. More importantly, I would be completely defenseless against these new and improved tactics by school shooters — such as smoke grenades — which more active and wannabe shooters likely intend to use.

Schools are not battlefields. We do not go into school every day preparing for an attack. They are places of learning and preparing for the future. We cannot afford — both morally and financially — to have these places be turned into fortresses with armed guards at all times. Handing teachers taxpayer-funded firearms, requiring them to undergo mandatory weapons training, and expecting them to be soldiers on top of their regular duties as educators — like grading assignments, preparing lesson plans, and in many cases buying their own classroom supplies to supplement their under-funded school — would be too taxing on teachers.

I’m not saying that this cannot work at all; many schools have proven that it can. In fact a Texas school district has been arming its teachers with firearms for years now. Nevertheless, making it nationwide and mandatory, even if it’s incentivized by the government as President Donald Trump suggested, would not be in the interests of teachers or our students.

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