Should school employees carry guns? Why Shouldn’t They?

Max Ma, Opinions Staff

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Currently, there are strict concealed gun laws in New Jersey making it difficultfor civilians to carry hidden firearms. Somestates such as Texas, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and recently Pennsylvaniaallow concealed weapons to be carried in schools. With a recent school shooting at Sante Fe High School in Texas leaving 10students dead, the question remains: should New Jersey allow concealed weapons in  schools and should Kingsway follow suit?

Giving teachers the ability to carry firearms on school grounds creates an extra level of safety other than the police. Currently, many schools without police presence or lack of police presence face constant danger from quick, sudden attacks. Jeffrey Woofter, a superintendent atWest Virginia’s Barbour County school district, said, “‘Schools are just sitting ducks because people know that you are not permitted to carry [guns] in schools, and that just makes them vulnerable’” (Education Week Staff).

Allowing schools to arm staff members gives them a greater likelihood to defend against attackers. Additionally, the presence of firearms in  schools creates a deterrent to potential attacks. Nicholas

Boyle, a school board member at the Tamaqua Area school district, said, “nobody really knows who’s carrying [a firearm], so the security guard or police officer wouldn’t be targeted first” (Wolfman-Arent). Boyle believes unidentified staffers who possess guns would provide a greater level of safety than police officers. Concealed staffersscare potential attackersbecause they could beanyone and anywhere making it difficult for the attackers to find the most vulnerable students. In addition, teachers who already have military or gun training should be allowedto possess firearms to protect their students.

Brian Teucke, an 8th-grade civics teacher and former military personnel, has a concealed-carry permit allowing him to carry firearms. He “would be willing to carry a gun to school. His students, he said, have told him they would appreciate that extra level of security” (Education Week Staff).

Ultimately, having armed staff in schools adds more safety to protect against potential attacks; why should we limit those opportunities?

Works Cited: Staff, EducationWeek. “Should Teachers Carry Guns? The Debate, Explained.” Education Week, Editorial Project in Education, 24 Aug. 2018, www.edweek.org/ew/issues/arming-teachers.html.

Wolfman-Arent, Avi. “School District in Schuylkill County Becomes First in Pa. to Allow Armed Teachers.” WHYY, 29 Oct. 2018, whyy.org/ articles/pa-school-district-becomesfirst- in-state-to-allow-armed-teachers/.