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Teachers react to Trump's desire to arm school staff: NPR



A flag flies at half-mast at the entrance of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as a result of a mass shootout at Parkland School, Florida, in the early of the month.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters


hiding the legend

legend flips

Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

A flag flies at half-mast at the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as a result of a mass shootout at the Parkland School, Florida, in the early of the month.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

President Trump reiterated his suggestion to arm teachers on school campuses as a solution to protect students from gun violence.

"We must have an offensive ability to get these people out quickly before they can do that kind of damage," Trump told reporters at a joint press conference with the Australian prime minister on Friday. The president suggested that schools be staffed with veterans who would carry hidden weapons.

In a White House listening session on Wednesday with teenage survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Trump said that Aaron Feis, a popular high school coach, could have arrested the shooter he had been armed.

Many unions and teacher organizations have spoken out against this proposed solution. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Association for Education, said that "parents and educators categorically reject the idea of ​​arming school staff."

Other organizations, namely the National Rifle Association, have spoken out in favor of this situation, designating the states and school districts that already authorize weapons on campus.

Joshua Grubbs, an assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, says that he grew up with weapons and owns a few. Despite this, he says he's not ready to be part of campus life.

"When I had a gun on me, it was not just that nice and relaxing part of who I was. take into account my decisions, "says Grubbs." When I educate someone, I can not imagine holding in my head this heightened awareness, this assessment of the threat, this assessment whether or not I'm going to need to use a weapon and try to educate from a place of openness and warmth and see the best of my students. "

Mark Zilinskas does not agree .. He is a professor of mathematics at Indiana High School, in Indiana, Penn

." We see time and time again. this idea of ​​doing nothing and people are there to get shot indiscriminately, "he says." We know that there will be teachers who will respond. "

Zilinskas followed the FASTER program (Faculty Training / Security Administration and Emergency Response) .The program, presented by the Buckeye Firearms Association, a pro-arms group from Ohio, trains teachers and staff in the area. 39, school on how to meet an active shooter on campus.Part of their training is to learn how to use a gun on school grounds.

"Some of us want the tools and training necessary for someone to harm children, "says Zilinskas. are carrying weapons hidden on campus, he adds, a potential shooter could be deterred from terrorizing this school.

Sarah Plumitallo, a teacher of English as a second language, says that reasoning just does not work. She highlights the shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the three shootings the gunman committed suicide shortly after killing students

"Many of these schools had school resource officers who were armed on campus and who were not Had no deterrent effect ". As a result of these shootings, Plumitallo says that it is hard to tackle the idea that teachers are putting their lives at risk for their students.

"We expect to sacrifice our lives," she says. "But, if I did not have children when I became a teacher, I would probably have felt a little more like" Without a doubt, of course. "But I'm also a mom. I have two little boys and I want to"

"We hear the stories about Coach [Aaron] Feis and Scott Beigel and how they sacrificed their lives, but did they expected to do it? I think it greatly affects teachers, "says Plumitallo.
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