Trump’s proposal to arm teachers



Hope Davidson, Reporter

At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 people were killed and many more hospitalized by 19 year old Nikolas Cruz on February 14th. School shootings are on the rise with a total of 18 school shootings occurring since January 1st and a solution to the problem is unclear. In response to the Parkland shooting, President Donald Trump is pushing to arm school teachers in exchange for an added bonus to their paycheck.  

President Trump believes if teachers at Douglas High School were armed, they would have “shot the hell” out of Cruz and stopped him. However, the President does not want to arm every teacher, only staff who are adept and properly trained to handle firearms. In return, those teachers would receive a higher paycheck. Trump stands firm in his belief that in order to stop the school shooting epidemic, schools must go on the offensive. Calling school shooters cowards, Trump says they would not attack a school with armed teachers, but claims a gun free zone is like “going in for the ice cream” for a shooter.

Responding to Trump’s proposal, teachers nationwide have joined the #ArmMeWith movement on Twitter. Teachers are calling out to Trump and telling him that rather than arming them with firearms, they should receive the tools they believe will help them better educate their students. These include  “anti-racist curriculum,” “enough counselors and social workers to meet the social and emotional needs of all students,” and “more time to build a class community instead of inundating them with testing.” Teachers feel there is an expectation for them to sacrifice their own life for their students, but some teachers say in a shootout situation, they aren’t sure if they would be able to do so. Arming them with a gun would add pressure on the teachers to lay down their lives for the sake of students. Not only would they be the educators, but they would also been seen as the protectors of their students- a responsibility many are not ready to take.

From the beginning, most American students were opposed to Trump’s idea to arm teachers believing it would only cause more problems and feelings of unsafety. Their concerns were reaffirmed after an incident at Dalton High School on February 28th, just 14 days after the Parkland shooting. After teacher Jesse Davidson refused to let anyone else, including the principal, into his classroom and shot a bullet through the back window, the high school was put on lockdown. One student tweeted, “we had to run out the back of the school in the rain. Students were being trampled and screaming. I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe.” Students are speaking out against President Trump saying his “thoughts and prayers” aren’t enough, and demanding  him to change gun policies. They say the president is valuing the 2nd Amendment more than their own safety.

A similar overall consensus of disapproval is shared by students and teachers at Orcutt Academy. In the event in which they had to shoot the attacker themselves, one teacher expresses concern that they would face jail time since there are no laws protecting them. Orcutt Academy students claim they would feel uncomfortable and unsafe knowing their teacher was armed with a gun- they would feel as if they are in a prison rather than a place of education.