United States educators have expressed frustration at a proposal by US President Donald Trump for teachers to take up arms to defend their classrooms against school shooters.
Many teachers expressed concerns about scenarios in which they could face shooters on a hectic campus – or even, potentially, draw a gun to confront an armed and dangerous student.
Mr Trump suggested arming a significant portion of the educator workforce – between 10 and 40 per cent of teachers – using federal resources. He said military veterans who teach would be prime candidates for these roles.
Many schools already hire police officers or armed guards to patrol campuses with the help of federal money. About 57 per cent of public schools in the 2015/2016 school year had security staff on campus at least once a week and nearly 43 per cent were patrolled by armed law enforcement officers, according to federal data.
Dr Dewey Cornell, a University of Virginia professor who studies school safety said, “The proposal to arm teachers might be emotionally appealing after a school shooting, but it is not practical or realistic,” said
“We should place more emphasis on preventing shootings than preparing for shootings. Prevention must start long before a gunman shows up at school. Instead of more guards, we need more counselors.”