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Polaris

Guns provide reasonable solution

Meagan Meredith, Staff Writer

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As an added measure of protection, more Texas school boards are voting to permit teachers on school campuses to carry a concealed handgun. While those opposing this practice argue that it is an unnecessary safety hazard, this is simply not true.

Not only is there a lack of a real risk to students’ safety, in light of the recent outbreak of mass shootings, it’s becoming almost necessary in some areas. For example, in Harrold, Tex., the nearest sheriff’s office is 30 minutes away. Plus, those schools cannot afford a security guard. Teachers permitted to carry their weapons are the students’ only immediate responders.

Texas law actually bans guns in school unless the school has given written authorization that says otherwise. Over 20 school districts in the state have chosen to permit their teachers to carry a gun in school. Of those, at least one-fourth of those school boards voted unanimously in support of this.

What people who are against this practice do not understand is that it is strictly monitored. There are an abundance of rules in place designed to prevent the allowance of guns from bringing any harm to the students.

Every teacher in all of these school districts must obtain and maintain a current concealed weapon permit from the state. Each district also mandates additional steps in order to ensure that this safety measure does not betray its purpose.

Argyle ISD requires that licensed teachers complete firearms and emergency response training courses. In addition, the district mandates that teachers who carry pass a rigorous interview process, undergo a psychiatric evaluation and participate in a firearms and emergency training courses.

All of this must be done before the district will give the teacher authorization. Once teachers are given the green light, they still have to attend district wide emergency response and active shooter trainings throughout the year.

Similarly, Harrold ISD teachers are evaluated on their personality and reaction to crisis. In addition, teachers must use bullets that minimize the risk of ricochet bullets. This erases the argument that saving one child could accidentally harm the others.

Teachers are not sitting in their desks waving their guns around to silence their students. They aren’t walking down the hall with guns holstered to their belts. School districts like Harrold require that the guns stay hidden. Plus, the entire staff is not armed. It’s a “concealed” weapon for a reason.

Guns have been present in Texas schools since 2007. That’s seven years. In that time period, there has not been a single issue in a school that permits their teachers to have a gun. There has, however, been multiple mass shootings with high death tolls in schools with no such proctection.

Had some of the teachers at Sandy Hook had guns available to them, they could have had a real chance against the assailant. If even one of those children who lost their lives were saved by their teacher’s weapon, it would’ve been worth it. That’s one more child that could’ve lived a long, fulfilling life.

Student resource officers carry guns, and it has never been a problem because they’re  police officers, and people seem to see that differently. However, they could “snap” just as easily as a teacher.

Another thing that people overlook is the fact that principals don’t employ teachers who are likely to “snap.” Before they are hired, background checks are performed. Not just any random stranger off the street is allowed to manage a classroom. Teachers are held to a high standard, and administrators are constantly evaluating them.

If people opposing this practice took the time to research the issue, they would see that allowing the teachers to have guns at school is not as bad as they think. The word “guns” carries such a negative connotation that sends alarms blaring in peoples’ minds. However, the appearance that guns are making in schools now is heavily regulated. There are so many guidelines that greatly decrease safety hazards.

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The School Newspaper of McKinney North High School.
Guns provide reasonable solution