Archive for Monday, April 2, 2018

Letter to the editor: Don’t arm teachers

April 2, 2018


To the editor:

On March 27, I attended the Kansas House Insurance Committee hearing on HB 2789, which proposes arming teachers to protect students and staff from active shooters. I listened attentively to the testimony of the proponents and the opposition to this bill. Since the hearing, I have been going through over 100 written statements by opponents to this legislation. They come from all over Kansas. They are parents, grandparents, teachers and students who are deeply opposed to this proposal. I was one of those who submitted such testimony.

As an educator, I oppose this effort to turn teachers into a militia or paramilitary force inside a classroom. Those who teach take on the task of educating children and young people. Successful teachers build a bond of trust with their students. This bond is the foundation for learning. An armed teacher undermines such a bond. Arming teachers would makes it easier for disputes to quickly escalate into something worse, maybe even death of school children. Research has shown that having more guns in a place translates to more gun violence, not less. The Heller decision explicitly interprets the Second Amendment as forbidding the possession of firearms in sensitive places, such as schools. No one decides to become a teacher to serve as an armed guard in his or her classroom. Teachers focus on the futures of their students. Conscripting them as armed guards undermines their chief task: inspiring students to continue their education. First responders in case of an active shooter should be professional police officers.


Ken Lassman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Spoken from the trenches and from someone who has gone the extra mile to do the homework on this complex topic, too. Thank you for your standing up and telling us what your conclusions are and why. Yours is an important voice to hear in this conversation.

Brock Masters 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I am opposed to arming teachers so in that respect I agree with the LET writer, however he misstates the finding of Heller in regards to schools. Heller does affirm that firearms can be prohibited in schools, but Heller does not explicitly forbid weapons in schools as the LTE writer states. I pasted an excerpt below.

2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

Monty Scott 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I wonder how many teachers have CCW permits and carry while they are not at school? We only seem to hear from those who are opposed to carrying a firearm in school. My question is, if you comfortable enough to carry in public why not in school? Both places you are around children, I am just wondering.

Daniel Kennamore 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I'm not comfortable with anyone being able to CC on public property.

If you want to have an armed guard, that's one thing, but adding more guns to the equation at schools isn't the answer to this problem. We had not one, not two but THREE accidental shootings in Lawrence over the past couple months...including one incident with a cop. You really want to add those accidental gun wounds to our schools? Because that's what would happen far more often than one of these CC carrying teachers stopping a shooting.

Steve Jacob 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Why would you trust an armed private contractor security guard over a teacher with a CC?

Ken Lassman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

If the School Resource Officer being provided is certified and goes through the ongoing training as outlined by the national certifying non profit NASRO then I'm much more comfortable with a SRO specifically trained and kept up to a state of readiness by ongoing training. This makes much more sense as part of the overall school district's security policies: thanks for asking.

Monty Scott 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Daniel, I get it, you are not comfortable with guns in school. That's fine. The question is to CCW holders. Daniel are you a CCW holder? Why will CCW holder carry in public and are you opposed to carrying in school? If you are, I would like to hear why.

Richard Heckler 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Gun sales finance NRA special interest political campaigns. Can we say no more special interest political donations?

Arming teachers is not the answer.

Do some homework. Never vote for any political candidate that receives money from the NRA and ALEC.

Steve Jacob 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Democrats take money from special interest groups too.

Monty Scott 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Last time I looked, my donation and that of about 5 million other NRA members finance the NRA to represent our special interest. Let's look at how much money is spent, the NRA doesn't even make it in the top 50.

I did my homework.

Bob Smith 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Oh, that wacky Guardian trying to influence an American election.

Ken Lassman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

In the habit of shooting the messenger? What specifically does the linked article say that is incorrect or an exaggeration?

Ken Lassman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yup, just what I thought. Your silence speaks volumes, Bob.

Steve Jacob 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Virginal Tech shooting, three minutes for police to run to the building and five minutes to break the chain linked locked doors. Sandy Hook, 8 minutes from first call to enter building. Parkland shooting 10 minutes.

That is why arming some teachers should be considered.

John Gallup 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if people were well trained and armed at Fort Hood, but teachers.

Richard Heckler 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Politicians will say anything to shut americans up about guns when in reality are only waiting for this massive teen slaughter situation to run out of steam.

This is why the loud voices for replacing all laws with new regulations need to stay active and loud.

WE don't need to own assault weapons, military style assault weapons, weapons that can accept magazines or SWAT team style weapons. The second amendment did not approve these weapons.

Law enforcement KNOWS very well assault weapons and open carry places them and all of us in harms way to a greater extreme than ever before.

When assault weapons are retired by law enforcement and the defense department they should go quickly to an iron industry to be melted down.

Gun sales finance NRA special interest political campaigns. Can we say no more special interest political donations?

Arming teachers is not the answer.

Majority Against Assault Weapons!!!!

The majority want stiff new regulations for private ownership of weapons.

Bob Smith 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Same codswhallop, different day from Richard. How do you define what is an assault weapon, Richard? BTW, the word "need" doesn't appear in the 2nd Amendment.

John Gallup 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Again Fort Hood had better trained people than teachers and did that tragedy work out the way you think it would.

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