Secure schools needed, not armed teachers

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mississippi’s latest solution to curb the potential for school shootings is ludicrous — having teachers strap on guns.

Arming teachers is simply a bad idea and one that we hope Mississippi senators have the intelligence to realize needs to be reconsidered.

Lawmakers are considering a change in law to allow school boards to decide if they will allow teachers to carry firearms at school with what is arguably only a modest amount of training — approximately 12 hours, every two years.

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First, 12 hours of firearms training is great. It’s probably far more formal training than the average gun owner receives, but it’s certainly not enough training to feel comfortable arming teachers to protect our children in moments of crisis.

Second, arming teachers focuses on the wrong problem. The problem isn’t that teachers are not armed. The problem is most schools in our country are far from being secure.

The best security force in our country, the U.S. Secret Service, works from a very logical perspective, locating and securing locations from threats through controlled access.

They don’t strap guns onto the president and his family or every member of the president’s staff. Instead the Secret Service limits the world’s access to the White House’s occupants and staff. Their approach has been effective.

And that’s the same approach we need to take with school security — secure the schools with professional, armed guards and controlled access points and leave teachers to teach.