Teachers speak about gun violence

Caitlin McKeand, Co-Editor in Chief

In the wake of the Parkland Florida school shooting last month that left 17 students dead, the debate on gun laws and guns in school continues, and people have started wondering if teachers should take up arms in order to protect their students.

Nina Legg, AP Government, Seminar, and Sociology teacher stands against arming teachers for a variety of reasons.

“I don’t think that it actually make anything safer,” Legg said. “Personally, I just think it’s an overreaction to a situation and it would create more issues than it would solve.”

Legg believed the costs that would have to be involved, including training and insurance, would ultimately be a waste of money.

“I would never carry at school,” Legg said. “I lose my keys on a daily basis, so I don’t think I would be the right person to carry a gun on campus.”

Legg also noted that teachers carrying guns would only elevate the conflict and change the role of teachers.

“If something were to happen, I think of my first role as protecting and saving my students, not pointing a gun at another student,” Legg said. “I think that that creates a mind shift that I don’t think I would ever have what it would take. There’s a reason why I didn’t become a police officer, it’s just not who I am.”

Legg said she doesn’t think teachers carrying guns will ever be an issue for the district.

“No teacher is the right teacher to carry a gun,” Legg said. “I think it’s a really quick and easy solution to a very complex problem, and that it doesn’t actually solve anything, it just makes us feel better, like we’re doing something.”

One anonymous teacher said they would be willing to conceal carry in the school.

“If it meant defending the lives of my students, I would be willing to use a gun,” they said. “If it meant I would be saving my students at the cost of one then absolutely.”

They said they understand the ramifications that come with the subject and understand it is a touchy topic.

“The fact that there has been so much happening recently, it would be a comfort to me to know that having a gun is an option,” they continued. “However, I also believe that if a teacher is not comfortable with handling guns, they should never be required.”

The teacher went on to say that teachers would need to go through extensive training or have a concealed carry license already, as well as pass extensive screening for mental health. They also said teachers should not allow any students to know they are carrying.

“I believe the issue should be based on the comfort level of the teachers,” they said. “If the need arose I would feel comfortable knowing that at least I would have something at my disposal to protect my students.”

A second anonymous teacher said they wouldn’t be comfortable with guns at all.

“I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” they said. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable, personally, with a gun in my classroom. I don’t know how other teachers feel, but I also don’t want a gun in the vicinity of the students either.”

That teacher also said it would only be another issue to worry about, and that the guns should stay with police officers and not with teachers.

“People are unpredictable,” they said. “Some teachers don’t want guns at all. I don’t know what it would be like for us if having guns was forced on us, but it’s a scary thought. I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future, but I just hope nothing like that ever comes to Vandegrift.”