Arming our Educators, Part III

How does this balance with the mindset of a teacher? Teachers teach. Their mindset is in the classroom. It is not a mindset of survival. Classroom survival is not the same as situational awareness and confrontational armed survival. When I say survival, I am not talking about surviving an administrative investigation, I mean survival ‘in the going home at the end of the day’ aspect. Preparation to address an active shooter It is not as easy as meeting the firearms qualifications at the local police department. Recently, a teacher from Stoneman Douglass high school (the sight of a recent school shooting) was arrested for leaving his Glock in a bathroom stall. A drunk found the weapon and fired it to see if it was loaded. This is exactly what I mean when discussing the difference between a police mindset and a concealed carry mindset.


This does not even address the budgetary considerations. There are training costs, not just going to the range and qualifying, but the cost of training a teacher on how to respond to an active shooter. Who will provide this training? Who will determine the qualifications for the trainers? There will be time involved for the teachers.  Will this time to train be part of their work day or extra-curricular? Who will determine the type of weapon the teachers carry? Will they be owned by the school or individually owned? What happens when the budget get tight and reductions are made? Training is usually one of the first categories cut. You can see this when looking at your local police department budget. If a school system has the budget to properly select, train, and arm teachers, why not use off-duty police officers?


A major consideration is the selection of the teachers. The selection clearly will come from a pool of teachers willing to take on this responsibility. Will the school require a psychological evaluation, as do police departments? Why does the teacher want the job? Is it for the extra money, a John Wayne complex? What skill-set will be required for a teacher to be considered? These are all considerations that will directly affect the selection of proper teachers and address the liability issues. Police departments can be held liable for situations where police officers shoot and hit an innocent bystander. A school would have the same liability issues if a teacher shoots and misses their target but hits a student. Departments are subject to liability for negligent failure to train as well as negligent hiring. These liability issues will equally apply to schools and school systems. What are the collateral insurance costs?


There are a host of considerations involved when deciding to arm teachers.  I have only touched on a couple. While the knee-jerk reaction is to allow teachers with concealed carry permits to carry guns to protect our children, there are a host of considerations and maybe better alternatives. It is easy to say you would take the shot or stop the shooter while sitting in your lounge chair. The reality is totally different.

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