The Nugget

Trump Pushes to Arm Teachers

Katie Huntley

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In the wake of the Florida school shooting, the debate over whether teachers should carry guns has intensified. Trump has proposed the idea of arming teachers to the whole country, and it has left many citizens wondering if this is a progressive idea to move forward with. Not only is Trump suggesting to arm many teachers, he also mentioned that he would be willing to give bonuses to those who did carry a gun with a license. “These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns — it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus,” Trump said. “They’ll frankly feel more comfortable having the gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus.”

Though Trump is strongly in favor of arming teachers, the people that would have to carry the guns feel differently. Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, feels very firmly on this proposal, and spoke on the behalf of the teachers’ union. “Teachers don’t want to be armed,” Weingarten said. “We want to teach. We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15.”

Though some teachers feel they should not be armed, others are avid about arming school staff. After the Sandy Hook shooting, a school district in Arkansas trained more than a dozen teachers and staff members as armed guards after realizing they couldn’t afford to hire a full-time security guard. “Every second that ticks by is a possibility of a life lost. What we’ve gathered from this is that it can be done, and it can be done right,” stated David Hopkins, a teacher.

Jim Krohn, a social studies teacher at Clarksville Junior High who volunteered to be one of the armed teachers, believes the program is a good deterrent. “If we didn’t do this and somebody came into this building or any of our school buildings and harmed children, it would be hard to go to sleep that night thinking what else could I have done and at least we’ve done what we think is the best thing to protect the children of Clarksville school district,” Krohn said.

Throughout this debate, both sides of the spectrum have constructed some pretty convincing arguments. It is up to the country to decide as a whole whether or not we should arm teachers in a school setting.

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