Written by Austin Haughwout |
In recent months and years, massacres have become all too common. These events prompt society to consider increased security, but no one agrees as to how. Among the most common debates for school security is if, when, and who should be permitted to carry a firearm at school. Many schools across the country, Morgan included, have decided to hire a local police officer and title them as a School Resource Officer, or SRO, an action opposed by few.
A federal law, established in 1990, bans the possession of a firearm on school grounds or within 1000 feet of the school unless the possession falls into one of many exceptions which includes, but is not limited to, being a police officer while on duty or having a license to carry, issued by the state of the school. Many states, Connecticut included, have made more restrictive laws limiting the possession even further. Such laws permit only police, or those with permission from the administration to carry firearms. A few other states such as Utah have made laws that restrict what type of license permits possession. New Hampshire is the only state that I know of that does not have laws restricting possession beyond what the federal law establishes.
A few schools across the country have, for quite some time now, allowed teachers to carry their personal firearms on a daily basis to aid in the security of the school. The New York Times covered this topic in an article titled, “Guns At School? If There’s A Will, There Are Ways.” This very action has created significant controversy and sparked many debates as to whether or not it is necessary and whether it would aid or hinder security.
Opponents often assert that teachers aren’t properly trained. That teachers have to deal with teenage and younger students all day every day, and someone may eventually “snap.” A deranged student may be able to take the firearm from the teacher. Hiring a police officer whose sole duty is to protect students is a superior decision.
Proponents assert that casualties in massacres are far lower when an armed citizen, being a person on the scene takes action with a firearm rather than waiting for police. Teachers can be trained if they desire to carry a firearm. Many holsters are security holsters meaning that a pistol may only be removed in a certain direction and often with a certain button or switch being pressed. Police may snap, just the same as a teacher.
The question goes further when opinion is considered, rather than facts. In an informal survey at The Morgan School, 22 students and teachers stated that they believe that teachers should not be allowed to carry firearms while at school. A mere 9 students and teachers said that they should. One person, the school resource officer, declined to comment. Some of the people on each side had an opinion beyond a mere yes or no.
Mrs. Robinson, the library media specialist, for example, stated that despite her limited knowledge on the topic, she believes that teachers should not be allowed to have firearms due to an increased liability from a lack of training but should be allowed some type of weapon, such as a tazer. Griffin Bovich, on the other hand, believes that some teachers should be allowed to, but that it would be a select few dependent on how many students attend the school. He adds that teachers should be required to undergo extensive training. The administration of The Morgan School does not support teachers carrying firearms; the principal, Keri Hagness, believes that firearms are not the best way to enforce security while the assistant principal, Tyler Webb believes that it is unnecessary simply because the school’s resource officer has a firearm.
Firearms have been discussed by a limited few here at The Morgan School and include Maria Putnam in her article, “Humans Are More Dangerous Than Guns.”