Pencils and Papers and Guns, Oh My!

Riley Dawson, Opinions Staff

Imagine people are sitting in class and they hear over the intercom, “Attention Kingsway, we are now in lock-down.” As students and staff sit in the dark behind locked doors with their trembling classmates, their seemingly, sweet, innocent English teacher is now an intimidating and powerful  gun-wielder. The school has armed  this teacher and others with a license and experience with a gun, but they do not realize adding a weapon into the situation does not always equal safety, and it could potentially worsen the situation. Now, in no way has Kingsway decided to do this. First, laws would have to be enacted in New Jersey; then these laws and specific policies must be adopted by counties and local districts. However,  other states already have passed laws and US senators and representatives are in favor of allowing states to implement such plans with federal funds.  Hopefully, this will never happen in New Jersey.

Schools and guns just do not mix. And, bringing in the weapon schools are  trying to keep out is not the best idea for a couple obvious reasons. While some people may argue that teachers having guns is only for the safety of the students, does having more guns in school really make people feel safe? Having guns in school is dangerous because, people just don’t know who can get their hands on the weapon. No matter how well hidden, locked up, or concealed a gun may be in a school, there is always that possibility. One teacher wrote in an Education Week publication,  “You just don’t know who can get their hands on the weapon. No matter how well hidden, locked up, or concealed a gun may be in a school, you don’t know who will get their hands on it” (Sackstein).

Additionally, arming people in the school will create anxiety.  The author uses this point, “Knowing there are guns in school will create more anxiety, not less” (Sackstein). While there are guns in the school, not only will the people inside the school be scared but the parents of the students outside will be fearful, also.

Guns are scary and when people other than police officers carry guns it makes  everyone a little uneasy. Why would  administrators place the weapons that they are trying to keep  students or visitors from having back in the building? That creates a higher risk of some students getting their hands on it and cause a problem that schools are trying to prevent.

Finally, why should teachers have more responsibility put on their shoulders than they already have. Teaching is a lot of work. Teachers must write lesson plans, make sure students  understand the material, grade papers and also encourage and motivate students.  Why do they need one more thing to worry about. Starr Sackstein sums this up in her article saying, “Teachers have enough to do, they don’t need to worry about being prepared for combat too.”

It is not only a problem for the students but the parents may not feel safe putting their kids in a school filled with deadly weapons. Guns in school are a bad idea, unless  they are being carried by a police officer or a bodyguard because that’s what their assigned job is.


Works Cited:

Sackstein, Starr. “Teachers Should Not Have Guns.” Education Week Teacher. Education Week Online. Feb 27, 2018.