Arming Teachers and Ethical Lens

Categories: EthicsPhilosophy

Our group decided to research the topic of arming teachers. School shootings are sadly a normal thing to see on the news. It’s not a shock when another one occurs. After the Parkland shooting, many young students and others started the “Never again” movement, which basically called out to politicians to have gun control. There were many solutions mentioned, but the one that caused one of the largest arguments is Presidents Trump’s suggestion. He offered the idea to arm all teachers.

This topic can bring up flaws or improvements with the safety of schools.

Looking at this with an ethical lens, arming teachers may fight “fire with fire”, yet is that really the way to go? Many believe that arming teachers may cause even more problems with safety. Having a gun in the classroom can cause problems to occur, for example, a student may find where the gun is being stashed. Then the unthinkable could happen. Now obviously the gun would be in a safe, but who’s to say that the teacher couldn’t have “trusted” their class for an emergency where they would need to get into the safe? Or what if the teacher is untrustworthy? This online article states,” The guns teachers carry could be taken and turned against them or used on the wrong people…said a representative of CeaseFire PA, a gun-control group” (Santon, 2018).

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This is truly a complicated topic to comprehend but believe it or not there is an equal number of pros and cons to this debate.

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Students and the school faculty need to be protected, there’s no question about that. Arming teachers may stop another school shooting from occurring because it may scare anyone who would want to. If the gun is in a safe, and the teachers are trained, then this may keep schools safer. Public areas such as airports, banks, and subways are already protected with armed guards, yet schools are still unsafe. If other public areas are already armed for security, then many believe that schools are no different and should have armed teachers. Many argue that arming teachers is the only way to keep schools completely safe.

There’s no way to completely stop these school shootings, but if there was a way to prevent them it would be the most logical reasoning to do whatever is possible to keep everyone safe. The president proposed this idea to eventually stop school shootings from happening; but then what will take its place? Having guns in classrooms may prevent mass shootings but also may increase anxiety levels of teens and kids. Forget the logical view on this topic for a moment: would everyone feel safe with a gun 5 feet away from them? Some may, but others wouldn’t and probably can’t focus on classwork when they know their teacher is armed. Students shouldn’t have to grow up and learn in an environment where they do not feel safe. In addition, teachers shouldn’t be forced into a position where they are responsible with a firearm rather than pop quizzes.

However, something must be done to keep schools safe, and many argue that the only way to prevent school shootings is to arm teachers. According to the online writer Matthew Santon, “Armed staff on-site could respond to a shooter before police: In rural school districts or districts without dedicated school resource officers, police and medics could be responding from a distance, said Pennsylvania State Sen. Don White, R-Indiana County” (2018). This is a very valid point because it can take a while for responders to arrive at school, especially when the school does not have any officers on campus. Once a school is on lockdown, every minute counts, meaning that everyone needs to get to a safe place and the police need to be called. However, responders may not be able to arrive in enough time to save a life. Arming teachers can stop school shootings sooner and could potentially save lives.

A flaw with arming teachers is that school should not feel like a prison. Many teachers feel that they are just caregivers, not first responders. From “Education Week”, “’I think we should have more security at school, but I don’t want our school to feel like a prison,’ said Adeena Teres, a science teacher’”(Education Week Staff, 2018). As said before, school is a place for learning, not a war zone. Ethically speaking, students should not have to fear their own teachers. When teachers were asked by several different sources, most of them were not in favor of being armed. Their reason was that they do not feel comfortable with a firearm in their classroom.

Last year, after the parkland shooting, President Trump suggested the idea to arm teachers and staff. His reasoning was that responders can’t get to schools in enough time. When he spoke to some of the survivors of parkland, he stated,” An attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes. It takes 5 to 8 minutes for responders, for police to come in. If you had a teacher who is adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly” .

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Arming Teachers and Ethical Lens. (2021, Oct 11). Retrieved from

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