Archives for category: Guns in Schools

Politico Morning Education reports on a new poll:


POLL: MOST TEACHERS DON’T WANT GUNS IN CLASS: Polling out this morning by Gallup found that teachers overwhelmingly say they do not want to pack heat in the classroom, even with special training – a proposal the Trump administration has made a central focus of its response to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Nearly three quarters – 73 percent – of teachers said they oppose school staff carrying guns, and nearly 60 percent said arming staff would make schools less safe, according to the first nationally representative survey of teachers on the topic since the Feb. 14 shooting.

Despite that, 20 percent of teachers strongly or somewhat favor the proposal, and 18 percent said they would be willing to go through special training to carry a gun in school buildings – indicating President Donald Trump may be on to something with his repeated estimate that as many as 20 percent of teachers could be “gun adept” enough to be armed in class.

The new poll comes as the Trump administration pushes a school safety plan that includes the potential of armed school staff – something the president has repeatedly called for in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and another 14 injured. The White House is backing a new Justice Department program that would aid states that seek to train teachers and other school personnel to carry firearms, as part of a package of steps to curb school violence.

Most teachers don’t want the option, though. Eighty-two percent said they would not be willing to undergo the training. Gallup noted that it remains to be seen whether the majority of teachers who oppose the idea would agree to teach in a school where teachers are armed.

Of the 18 percent of teachers who said they would undergo training to carry, two-thirds are very confident that they would be able to effectively handle the gun in a live shooting situation and one-quarter are somewhat confident, according to the Gallup poll. Gallup also found that a quarter of teachers said they currently own a gun and those who do are four times as likely to say they’re willing to undergo training to carry in school.

Voters, however, have been more split on the idea. A Gallup poll this week found 42 percent of Americans support the idea and 56 percent oppose it. A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll last month that found 50 percent of voters supported the idea and just 42 percent opposed it. Benjamin Wermund has more.


Students at the largest high school in Alabama conferred with their principal about how best to honor the 17 deaths of students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. They had their own mourning to do. A student shot and killed another student in their school last week.


Michael Elliott, videographer, caught this scene on the streets of Brooklyn, where high school and middle school students demonstrating against gun violence on March 14 erupted in cheers when they saw a group of elementary school children marching across the street. Must watch! One minute!


Get involved!

Support the March 14 action of the Women’s March, which calls for a 17-minute walkout at 10 am..

Support the March 24 “March for Our Lives,” organized by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, which will occur in DC and across the nation.

Support the Day of Action on April 20 in every school and school district sponsored by the Network for Public Education, the NEA, the AFT, the BATS, the AASA, LULAC, the National Superintendents Roundtable, the Center for American Progress, and Gabby Giffords, with many more sponsors. Every school and district is encouraged to choose its own way to speak out against gun violence in schools. Activities include wearing orange armbands, assemblies to discuss the issues, sit-ins, teach-ins, before school, after school, or during school, a March on your legislators’ offices, candlelight vigil, linking arms around the school. Use your creativity. Collaborate.

Support the National Student Walkout on April 20, which calls on high school students to walk out at 10 am and not return.

April 20 was chosen for the last two protests because it is the anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

Anti-gun violence actions should continue until state legislatures and Congress act, or until NRA puppets are thrown out of office by irate voters.

Congress should ban the sale of assault weapons to civilians, as it was did from 1994-2004. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter endorsed the ban. These weapons, meant for military use, are the guns of choice for mass murderers.

Enough is enough!

Mercedes Schneider asks about the cost of arming teachers and about the liability assumed by teachers who are armed.

In the Florida program, teachers will be expected to have 132 hours of training, unpaid.

Who will pay for the guns? Where will they be kept during school? After school?

She wonders:

Is an armed teacher liable for failing to shoot an armed intruder? Is this a dereliction of duty, or will a teacher be excused, for example, for not having the heart to shoot one of her or his own students?

What if a student reaches for that gun, even if only out of curiosity?

What if a student gets possession of that gun? Don’t tell me it cannot happen.

Armed teachers become entangled in liability.

Who will insure them? Their school? Their district?

Paul Karrer, a retired teacher in California, asks about the ethical and practical questions of having guns in a school.

Kids want attention – some kid somewhere will bring a fake gun to school and a teacher will have to decide whether or not to shoot the kid. Ever seen any of the limitless phone videos of kids attacking teachers or substitute teachers? Giving the teacher a gun ups that ante a bit. Somewhere a teacher will forget her gun, (Like one of my cop friends does. Once he left it in a coffee shop. Another time he left it unlocked in his car. And at the shooting range he ricocheted a 9mm from his Glock into cement because he forgot it was loaded. This is a highly motivated trained cop. A bright guy, in his prime.)

Arming teachers is bad in every way. The solution is to limit gun access, not provide the gun manufacturing business with a new revenue stream – (Discussing School budget today -LINE ITEM 4- financial appropriation for weapon allotments – NO WAY!)

Should a teacher have to decide at some point to shoot a student? Should a teacher have to decide to shoot a parent? When the police arrive will they shoot the teacher holding the weapon? The variables are limitless, unforeseen, and all ugly. Teachers and teaching are in many ways sacred. Sacred in a similar vein as with a priest, rabbi, cleric, or pastor. Teachers also have a legal relationship to their students akin to attorney-client privilege — sworn to protect the child’s privacy at almost all costs. We can’t shoot them.

Not many teachers are likely to take up the offer of a gun. They know the risks.

Secure the campus. Let teachers teach.

There have been many studies of the effects of introducing more guns into schools. It doesn’t make them safer.

‪Here’s what the science says about bringing more guns into schools: it doesn’t work via @zmescience‬


I thought  you might want to see this. 


Despite the pleas of anguished survivors of the Parkland massacre, the Florida House Appropriations  Committee voted against a ban on assault weapons and voted to arm teachers. 

The $67 million “school marshal” program is the most controversial aspect of a House bill that imposes a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, raises the age to buy any gun from 18 to 21 and gives police more power to seize guns from people who threaten themselves or others. Most of the money for the marshal program would be spent on training.

Oliva said the bill doesn’t address whether teachers would be provided guns or would have to buy them. He said that should be decided locally by school boards and superintendents.

The goal: 10 marshals (teachers trained to carry a gun) in every school, which would equate to 37,000 statewide. The state would cover the costs of background checks, drug testing, psychological exams and 132 hours of training. The bill does provide a one-time $500 stipend for those who volunteer to have a gun.

The bill also calls for spending $400 million to put a school resource officer in every school, improve mental health counseling and make public school buildings safer.



Thanks to principal Jamaal Bowman for sending me this story about Parkland student leader Emma Gonzalez:

Emma says:

“Adults are saying that children are emotional. I should hope so—some of our closest friends were taken before their time because of a senseless act of violence that should never have occurred. If we weren’t emotional, they would criticize us for that, as well. Adults are saying that children are disrespectful. But how can we respect people who don’t respect us? We have always been told that if we see something wrong, we need to speak up; but now that we are, all we’re getting is disrespect from the people who made the rules in the first place. Adults like us when we have strong test scores, but they hate us when we have strong opinions.”

Emma’s Twitter account is @ Emma4Change


Vox decided to fact-check Trump’s claim that 10-20% of America’s teachers are “very gun adept.”

I responded that he just “made it up.”

Vox did some digging and found that a program called Troops to Teachers, established by the first Bush administration in 1993 attracted 20,000 veterans into the classroom. That’s about one-half of one percent of the nation’s 3.5 Million teachers. TFA placed 320 veterans in schools. That’s not even a statistical blip.

Rachel Wolfe of VOX looked for other possible sources of teachers who are “very adept” with firearms.

As I said, Trump was just making it up.

I wonder if he has ever met an actual school teacher other than perfunctory school visits.

Where did he get that number?