Whichever side of the political divide you come down upon, everybody agrees that children need to be safe in American schools.
That’s the number one priority of every parent, every school staff member, and basically every person in the world.
What people can’t agree on however is exactly how we should ensure our children’s safety when they go to school.
President Donald Trump now says that he thinks giving guns to some teachers is the answer to the problem, and Mr Trump has even said teachers who carry guns in schools should get cash bonuses as repayment for their efforts to protect students.
Speaking after the latest tragic school shooting in Florida, and just before a meeting with the city of Parkland’s Mayor Christine Hunschofsky and members of his cabinet, Mr Trump said he believes educators should bring weapons to school. He says this will deter attacks like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which left 17 people – both students and staff members – dead.
“I want certain highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns,” the president said, talking to the press about how he sees armed classrooms working with teachers who hold a concealed carry permit.
President Trump suggests awarding bonuses to trained teachers who carry guns in school: “Frankly, they'd feel more comfortable having the gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus.” https://t.co/CHYEUL1KCH pic.twitter.com/DpCocy59BT
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2018
Since the Parkland shooting last week, Mr Trump said that a lack of mental health care is to blame for gun violence in the United States, and he has suggested that giving guns to teachers could reduce deaths.
Those teachers, the president has suggested, should get some sort of bonus in their salaries for carrying guns. He floated the idea of awarding bonuses of 10 per cent, 20 per cent, or even as high as 40 per cent to teachers who bring their firearms to school. They would first have to undergo “rigorous training” before being allowed to do this.
During a meeting with student mass shooting survivors their parents in the White House recently, Donald Trump asked if they would support armed teachers in schools, but this received a mixed review.
The President has also made it clear that thinks simply boosting the number of armed guards posted into schools would be not be enough of a deterrent to prevent future school shootings. But he has said that people thinking of committing such a crime would know that any teacher might have a gun, and this could act as an effective deterrent.
“You can’t hire enough security guards… You need 100, 150 security guards. But you could have concealed [guns] on the teacher,” said Mr Trump.
The US President has also said recently that he would like to increase awareness of mental health issues, and has said that he is considering putting an end to gun free school zones as well.
“I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected. We have to harden our sites. If you harden the sites you’re not going to have this problem. When you say this school is gun free… that’s what they want to hear. We have to harden our schools, not soften them up,” Mr Trump said.
Spokesperson at the White House Raj Shah said recently that the government are looking for ways to improve safety at schools, while still avoiding a total ban on the sale of an entire class of firearms such as semi-automatic rifles.
Mr Shah says he recognises that priorities might change while the White House determines does and does not work in terms of solutions to the problem. This might include the difficulty of arming thousands of teachers, and also the large budget cost teachers’ bonuses if they do decide to carry guns into school.
Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
“When you have a horrific situation like you had last week, and some other school shootings we’ve seen these horrible tragedies, what we think and we don’t think is practical can change,” Mr Shah said.
Since the shooting in Parkland, Florida, a group of student survivors have rallied their state and national governments. They are in the process of organizing a national student walk-out until gun control reforms happen, and hope that Parkland will stand as last school shooting in America.
In response, Mr Trump has held a series of meetings with students on the issue, discussing potential reform plans that could help to improve school safety.
In the days since announcing these proposals however, groups including some military veterans have responded by saying that they don’t think arming teachers is a good idea, and could even make the problem far worse.
This pic was taken in Iraq. I needed a reliable, high-capacity rifle that could kill multiple humans accurately up to 500m away.
— Mediocre Jedi (@MediocreJedi) February 18, 2018
What do you think about this? Is giving a teacher a gun a good idea, and could it solve the massive problem that school shootings have become?
Maybe you think that doing anything about the problem is better than nothing, and this is worth a shot. Or perhaps you think that solving the problem of guns with more guns just doesn’t make sense.
Whatever you think, we would love to hear from you with a COMMENT, and don’t forget to SHARE this article to keep the debate going.