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Guns in Education

by Summer Lash

Dr. Wendy Hardy, associate professor of Education at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and mother of three school-age children, spoke recently regarding the idea of arming teachers. The suggestion of arming school teachers is one of many responses to the most recent school shootings that happened in our country—specifically the mass shooting that happened at Parkland High School in Florida.

When forming her opinion on the matter, Dr. Hardy chose to speak to her children and ask what they thought of the idea.

“The thought of teachers having guns scared them,” she stated. She went on to explain that she had a conversation with her twelve year-old on about the matter, and he expressed that he thought it was a “horrible idea” and brought up that his school “already has police officers” and does not need to arm the teachers.

The idea of arming teachers was properly introduced following the mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, where seventeen students were killed by the shooter. Arming teachers is meant to be a deterrent for any potential school shooter.

This suggestion is controversial and it has caused many to share their opinions on the matter.

“I don’t know what the answer to it is, but it scares me as a parent,” Dr. Hardy said, “When I send my kids to school, I’ve thought school is a safe place for them to go and learn, but maybe it’s not. It’s enough to scare you.”

Alyssa Fry, a senior double majoring in Secondary Education and English literature, also shared her views on the issue.

“It feels like arming teachers and guards is putting a bandage on a missing limb,” Fry stated, “It would deter students, but if it isn’t obvious who is or isn’t armed, it won’t deter [them] much.”

Fry will be student teaching in the fall and expressed her thoughts on how close to home this hits.

“You’re sort of aware of the threat, but until it happens, you think it can’t happen to you,” she said, “And, if you had a kid who is threatening you, can you pull a gun on a kid?”

Because this suggestion of arming teachers is so recent, and the issue of gun control in this country is so overarching, there will continue to be debates regarding the best solutions.

To conclude her thoughts, Fry said, “Until some conclusion is reached, it’s not going to die down. It comes and it goes, and it seems to get worse every time it comes.”

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