Should Teachers be Armed on Campus?

Harleton High School teachers weigh in on controversial topic

Lawson Green, Staff Writer

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According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive which tracks shootings in the United States, there have been 154 mass shootings in 2018.  Public schools are working on solutions to make sure children are being protected while keeping a safe learning environment. Some districts have chosen to hire school resource officers or create their own police departments. Others have decided to train and arm teachers on campus.

Harrold ISD was the first of more than 170 Texas school districts — mostly in rural or isolated areas — to arm educators and other employees to prevent a possible tragedy. In 2013, Union Grove ISD, also in Upshur County, chose to arm certain employees

Some Harleton High School teachers weighed in on the situation.

“Think of the theater shooter in Colorado some years ago; he knew very well where he was going. He drove past two other theaters that did allow people to carry concealed and settled on the one that did not.” English teacher Brian Coulter said.

With guns comes the problem of a teacher shooting students.

“Some people don’t want to; it shouldn’t be a thing that is mandated, it should be on a voluntary basis and only after a strenuous rigorous battery of testing to make sure they can do it. I recommend weapons training and the same training that a policeman does for mental reasons. You don’t want a gun in the hands of someone who might snap,” Coulter added.

While some teachers believe arming educators is the answer, others do not think guns on campus is the answer.

United States History teacher Julie Furlow said, “I think there has to be a better way. I think since it is such a prevalent issue that it needs to be addressed by the government. That is where more funding should come in and security guards that are trained for that.”

Many argue that schools should just get better security, but Furlow pointed out it is a money issue and that is why schools have not addressed it.

Teachers can go through all the training but that does not guarantee safety.

“Teachers are human just like kids; we can come to work some days not in a good mood and little things can set us off.  What happens if we get set off and it’s all for the wrong reasons?”

HISD has chosen to hire school resource officers this year to patrol the hallways and parking lots of all three campuses.