Arm Teachers With Books, Not Weapons

The United States Government currently believes that arming teachers with guns is more important than arming them with books and computers. Since 2013 there has been more than 306 school shootings, resulting in over 130 deaths and injuries (Ahmed, Saeed). School shootings are clearly a rising epidemic in this country. President Donald Trump and others believe that arming a teacher would prevent school shootings and lower statics. Although he and others have some good explanations to support their ideas, there are statics and facts that prove the opposite.

In this paper I argue that it is not the burden of a teacher or administrator to have the daily responsibility of carrying a firearm at school. That burden would cause more fear in students and escalate school shooting statics. If a teacher is armed at school, a school will no longer be a gun free, safe zone and instead would turn into a war zone.

Many people including Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States believe that arming teachers is the solution to the escalating statistic of school shootings.

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Although he makes a few valid points, the plan is not thorough. Trump proposed that many states adopt the “school-marshal program,” a program that various schools around the United States adopted already. It calls to arm administrators and teachers and holds them responsible to act if there is an armed shooter in the school, it may sound good on the outside but it is highly flawed.

His plan, he posted to his Twitter account on February 24, 2018 “Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them.

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Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive difference. Up to states.” This quote gained a lot of support as well as hate from people around the country. Trump’s plan is supported by the National Rifle Association, he said in a briefing to the governor’s “Don’t worry about the NRA, They are on our side” (Borowitz, Andy) but it is protested by the National Teachers Association.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is currently backing “school-marshal program.” It is a play from their playbook, and would generate more income and sources for them to build their association on. Along with Trump’s plan they believe that teachers should be armed and should be the first responders to an armed gunman. In early March 2018, a “Teacher of The Year” recipient misfired his firearm and shot a student. Although it was an accident, the NRA has been questioned about the safety of arming a teacher.

The President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre said that “Had there been a second armed teacher in the classroom to shoot the first armed teacher, this regrettable incident would never have occurred, the only thing that stops a bad teacher with a gun is a good teacher with a gun, In a perfect world, you would have a third armed teacher, in case the second one messes up, but right now I’d settle for two.” (Borowitz, Andy) LaPierre’s proposal would offer more job openings for teachers who are unemployed, but would double the cost of education yearly, with education funding already scarce, his proposal is not realistic.

Although there are a number of reasons why people believe arming teachers is the best and only option when it comes to preventing armed intruders from entering a school, there are many people who feel the exact opposite. Officials, students, parents, teachers, and civilians including myself believe that arming a teacher is not only the worst option when it comes to preventing these incidents, it is also going to cause more harm than good. Placing a gun in these public environments is a disaster waiting to happen.

Carelessness and proper mishandling of a firearm in a school could cause for accidents to happen. These accidents could have been prevented if teachers were not allowed to carry firearms. A teacher in a Northern Carolina School was giving a safety lesson on guns, when his firearm was discharged accidentally and he shot a student. The teacher who works as a reserved officer and has been trained for over 3 decades could have killed someone. The father of the student who was shot said, “I was kinda leaning toward having armed people in school incase something happened. After today, I get why people say there should be no guns in schools, its just crazy.” (Chavez, Nichole) This situation proves that having guns in a school can not only cause planned harm but also can cause many accidents. Having guns in the classroom can curtail gun violence at school instead of prevent it.

Along with parents being opposed to arming teachers a high percent of teachers are opposed as well, including members of the National Education Association (NEA). The President of the NEA, Lily Eskelsen Garcia said, “The idea of arming teachers is ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous. This new national survey of educators confirms that. The National Education Association conducted a survey asking teachers their opinions on having guns in schools. Arming teachers and other school personnel does nothing to prevent gun violence. In fact, quite the contrary, educators would feel less safe if school personnel were armed.

” Her statements come shortly after the NEA conducted a survey asking teachers their opinions in a survey, the findings are strong, 74% of teachers opposed the idea of arming teachers. “Among all members in the union, 82% say they would not carry a gun in school. Even among members who own guns, two-thirds 63% say they would not agree to be armed in school. Two-thirds of educators say that would feel less safe if they were armed.” (Walker, Tim) The idea of arming people who don’t want to be armed is a reason alone to not arm teachers. The teachers will be the ones handling the guns, making sure they are safe at all times and preventing harm from happening, and if they don’t want to carry arms they shouldn’t be forced to. The survey also says that two-thirds of educators would feel less safe if teachers were armed. That statistic shows that teachers agree with Lily, The President of the NEA and the facts that having a gun in the classroom makes it a less safe environment.

The president of the NRA’s decision to have two armed teacher is not only obscured it is also extremely costly. President Trump is quoted saying, “It is inexpensive” to arm teachers, he is wrong. Trump calls for the idea of arming 20% of “the good” teachers. While funding for education is at all timely low, the cost of arming teachers comes down to numbers. There are 3.1 million public schools in the United States and 400,000 private schools, in total there are about 3.6 million employed teachers. 20% of that is a little under 718,000 teachers. These teachers would have to be trained and that can cost anywhere from $1,000 a teacher. The cost would be approximately $718 million dollars just for the training. Then the cost of firearms comes is added in. A low-cost firearm runs for $500 apiece meaning to arm these teachers is $359 million. Not including the bonus, that Trump proposed for teachers the total price to arm teachers will be around 1 billion dollars.

Many schools are underfunded and rely on teachers to provide the students with basic school supplies to have a successful education. The funds that the Government proposes to use for the “school-marshal program” should instead be used to supply teachers with the resources and tools that benefit a child’s education and their future. Poverty is overcome by education and basic schools supplies are essential when a child is receiving an education. You cannot teach a pupil or learn without supplies such as books, pencils, and paper. Stories are published daily about teachers providing their students with supplies for school with funds from their own bank account.

Stories about teachers who have one copy of a book and make paper copies for their students to help them learn to read. Education Weekly, reports that over 91% of teachers purchase supplies for their students who cannot afford supplies, totaling over 1 billion dollars a year. Not only are they purchasing schools supplies, they are also purchasing personal items, such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and even clothes for their students. There is a current movement that teachers and advocates against “school-marshal programs” are supporting. The protest is the open-ended statement, #ArmMeWith that the individual adds the ending to, and posts it to their social media pages. For example, #ArmMeWith Books and ArmMeWith Pencils are two hashtags that are being shared with millions of followers that protest arming a teacher. Another one that is being shared is #ArmMeWith the funding to help children suffering from mental illnesses. This would be a solution to helping children

In conclusion, arming a teacher is not only an expensive solution to preventing school shootings but could also cause more harm. It is not the duty of a teacher or administrator to be armed with a gun and stop shooting from taking place. There are many other alternatives to prevent the rising epidemic and teachers demand that they be armed with the tools to help students succeed in life and not behold that burd

Works Cited

  1. Ahmed, Saeed and Christina Walker. “There Has Been, on Average, 1 School Shooting Every Week This Year.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 Apr, 2018
  3. Borowitz, Andy. “N.R.A. Proposes Having Second Armed Teacher in Every Classroom to Stop First Armed Teacher from Misfiring.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker. 15 March 2018.
  5. cher-in-every-classroom-to-stop-first-armed-teacher-from-misfiring
  6. Chavez, Nicole. “Teacher Accidentally Fires Gun and Injures Student in Califorina.” CNN. Cable News Network. 15 Mar 2018.
  7. KABC. “Poll: California Voters Weigh in on Arming Teachers.” ABC7 Los Angeles, 29, Mar. 2018, Accessed 30 Mar. 2018
  8. Liptak, Kevin, and Noah Gray. “Trump Proposes Bonuses for Teachers Who Get Gun Training.” CNN, Cable News Network, 24 Feb. 2018 Accessed 30 Mar. 2018
  9. Walker, Tim. “NEA Survey: Educators Say No to Arming Teachers, Favor Real Solutions to Gun Violence.” NEA Today. 14 Mar 2018.
Updated: Dec 08, 2021
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Arm Teachers With Books, Not Weapons. (2021, Dec 08). Retrieved from

Arm Teachers With Books, Not Weapons essay
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