Debate spikes around teachers and concealed carry

April Socolofsky- Staff Writer

Imagine this: You are falling asleep in your 8am class. You glance up as the professor leans around to grab some papers. Suddenly, you’re wide awake. It looks like… could it be? You thought you saw something odd for a second.

The professor reaches around for a second time, and suddenly you realize what you thought you glimpsed was correct: your instructor is carrying a gun strapped under their jacket.

“It is a mixing of roles. I do not believe a teacher should carry a gun,” stated Gwen Marra, a professor in the Dordt Education Department.

What happens if teachers do start carrying guns on school property?

In some states, individual schools and universities are allowed to delegate whether guns are allowed on campus or not. In others, that option is left up to the state and the laws already in place regarding concealed to carry weapons. Certain schools across the United States now allow teachers to carry concealed handguns on school grounds, as well. The ensuing deliberations are causing much controversy as parents, faculty and students renew the gun debate. This time, the discussion involves children in K-12 schools.

Cries of protecting children are a driving force in this dispute, with those on both sides calling for the safeguarding of students.

Those in favor of allowing teachers to carry on school campuses say that armed teachers will protect our students. They argue that the best protection for the innocent students sitting in the classrooms are the teachers standing in the front of every room.

On the other side, those who are against guns on school property say that our students should not be around men and women who carry guns all the time. Accidents happen, and the fear of potential unexpected events is a major consideration, especially concerning K-12 schools.

What would happen if our teachers did start carrying guns? Will we fear for our future children, not knowing if their teacher is in possession of a gun? Or does that thought make us feel as though children are protected? Would students feel safer with their teachers armed, or would they be afraid to attend or speak up in class, knowing that a gun might be in the room at that very moment? These are questions that may have to be answered in our lifetimes – are we ready for them?

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