By Megan Irwin
On February 14, 2018, students arrived at Stoneman Douglas High School with the only fear in their minds being passing their pre-calculus exam or if their crush will ask them out, not the screams of terror from fellow classmates, not the blood, not the ear deafening shots from an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. It has been over a year since the traumatic Parkland shooting that took seventeen students victim; and as of early May 2019, Florida legislation has declared to let “teacher volunteers” carry a gun under their guardian program. Teachers would have to go through police-like training with a sheriff’s office and undergo a psychiatric evaluation along with a background check in order to qualify for carrying a weapon on campus; the arming of any teachers or staff of a school regardless of the calamity that may have occurred is no logical response to the tragedy brought on by gun violence. Arming teachers in one state would lead to others following suit and soon, the United States would become a country of ill-handled weapons, the very thing this Floridian law aimed to prevent.
Guns act as an impediment in relationships with students. Teachers are guides, mentors, discussion leaders and lecturers; so giving teachers guns would act as a direct barrier in the connection to students. It says “stand back” instead of “stand up,” creating such a division in the learning place all due to the possibility of teachers turning the guns against those they promised to protect.
Guns simply have no place in the classroom. Teachers are in constant close proximity to students; with hundreds of students in a single classroom daily, the chance for an accidental discharge is guaranteed. Second, teachers are not trained to make instantaneous life-or-death decisions in a school environment with thousands of innocent children as possible collateral damage to the ill mannered use of a firearm. Even trained police officers have trouble reacting to school shootings and properly executing the use of deadly force with thousands of students at risk.
No amount of “good teachers” or those who want to take stand against a school shooter can account for the reckless delegation of Florida legislation. Who in passing this bill endangered more students than a school shooter would. A good teacher with a gun can still make a careless mistake, resulting in the death of a student who forgot to say ‘I love you’ to their parent that morning, who wanted to pass that final and graduate, to move on in life to better things; all cut down by a single bullet fired by their teacher.
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