District Administration offers two district perspectives in the issue of whether guns at school help protect students or put them in greater danger.
Laura Carno, founder and executive director of FasterColorado.com, an organization that provides firearms training to school staff members, argues that school staff are the first responders in a crisis situation and must be trained to protect students.
Deborah Gordon Klehr, executive director of the Education Law Center in Pennsylvania, argues that the presence of guns increases the chances of an accidental shooting and that school drills offer better measures of school preparedness.
School districts are entrusted each day with the protection of society’s greatest resource: its children. However, with the increasing threat of gun violence, school administrators face an overwhelming dilemma as to the best way to offer that protection without endangering the lives of children in the process.
The National School Safety and Security Services and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence are opposed to the notion of arming school staff members. Groups such as these feel that the presence of guns will only increase the incidence of accidental gun deaths and injuries either by student misuse of guns or by the overreaction of staff members who are armed.
However, others argue that you can’t bring good intentions to a gun fight. The National Education Association was reportedly in favor of President Obama’s proposal to fund more armed school resource officers. Some states are already passing stronger pro-gun laws that allow teachers to carry guns on campus. According to some polls, the majority of people feel that guns in schools offer students more protection.
The debate over the issue will not end soon — if ever. The common ground is that all these groups are united in the desire to protect children from the unthinkable. However the gun debate is settled in their state, school administrators can still employ other strategies to prepare for possible active shooter situations and to reduce the threat of violence at schools.