Students should feel safe, protected, and free at school

As a student, it is my belief that students should feel safe, protected, and free at school. However, arming teachers may not make students feel safe, it could in fact do the opposite.

The proposal to arm teachers with lethal weapons may be intended to do well, but based on recent events, including the teacher who barricaded himself in his room and fired his gun, I feel that many variables are being ignored.

We have to look at the psychological aspect of these situations. Would these teachers be able to follow through and shoot a student they’re supposed to be preparing for life? If a teacher comes face to face with a weapon that has the potential to rapidly kill multiple people, could they do it?

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In a recent article that compares how other countries deal with violence in schools, they describe teachers using non-lethal and de-escalation training to disarm or disable students carrying knives. This weapon has a very limited range, meaning it takes longer to cause harm on other students and staff. A second of hesitation from a teacher facing a gun, could be the difference of life and death on a massive scale. Adrenaline may carry you far, but individuals will react in different ways, those ways we do not know until we are faced with them.

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In 2010, 20 children and 6 adults were killed at an elementary school with a weapon only meant for the military. A cartoon drawn by Pia Guerra depicts young children and adults, killed due to school shootings. Senators and government officials forget that they're not just dealing with young adults and teenagers, but they’re also dealing with kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders, middle school kids as well as high school students. We’re dealing with little brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, families. How effective will arming teachers be with young children? At what cost will this have on future generations? The people who keep arguing over the solution, aren’t looking at all aspects of the problem.

There are many aspects and variables of these awful killing situations; precautions that schools can't afford, input that isn't being listened to. Many officials look at this like another problem they have to fix the cheapest way possible, they feel a sense of detachment from these tragedies. There’s one difference between us and them, we all strive in it, students in Florida protest for it, while kids in Marshall County are praying for it, parents are pleading for it and it’s up to us to Fight for it. Safety.

The officials that look to arm our teachers with deadly weapons already have security. In every courthouse, airport and state house no one gets inside with a weapon, especially a weapon of mass destruction. Many of their children have never been to a public school. It is up to our government to protect its citizens, not hand out more guns.

Seven states already have guns in their schools. Eighteen more are allowing them with approval. Students deserve the right to learn in safety. The future for America deserves that right. According to multiple polls, some feel somewhat safer in the presence of guns in these situations. How safe can one feel if you’re standing on the wrong end?

View a slideshow from the WKY March for Our Lives rally:

March For Our Lives: WKY