By: Nick Chow
In a controversial move, an Arkansas school district has decided to arm its administrators and teachers to respond in the event of a school shooting. Clarksville High School is training 20 faculty members to carry concealed weapons in the school, beginning at the next fall term.
The move takes advantage of an obscure Arkansas law that allows licensed, armed security guards on school campus. The faculty will be serving as this “armed security force” following completion of a 53 hour training and licensing program. They will be carrying concealed weapons during the school day, and are told only to use their weapons in the event of a school shooting.
Schools around the country are contemplating heightening security protocols in the wake of last year’s Sandy Hook shooting. There is much controversy surrounding all proposals suggesting the presence of armed officials on school campus, especially surrounding this school board’s decision.
However, in this case, the school board is correct in its decision. This controversy surrounding the school ultimately is a microcosm of the entire gun control debate. The presence of any gun-carrying individuals on campus serves as a huge deterrent to any potential school shooters. Potential school shooters would have to deal with an extra factor of having 20 armed and trained individuals protecting the school and its students, not to mention the tactical response teams that would be called in after the first alarm. In essence, these armed teachers serve as a huge deterrent to a would-be school shooter, and they serve as a trained “first line of defense” in the event of a school shooting.
We can not let our teachers and students be sitting ducks in harm’s way in the event of a school shooting. The school board is justified in its ultimate decision of training and arming the school’s teachers because it provides the most defense for the lives of the students and faculty.