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Raiders debate arming teachers

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Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the debate of arming teachers and staff members has been a hot topic among many educators and students across the nation.

In an Isle File survey of 263 students, 78 percent were opposed to arming staff members, even with training, while 23 percent were OK with the idea.

AP Psychology teacher Mr. Sam Kochel is one of the Raider staff who opposes the concept of arming teachers.

“There have been lots of different proposed ideas when it comes to arming teachers, and I’m against all of them,” said Mr. Kochel.

Mr. Kochel believes that by granting teachers the right to carry a gun in the classroom, it will create a tension between students and teachers that will not produce the best connection for young people in a learning environment.

“It will also likely lead to potential accidents and other abuses of power,” Mr. Kochel said.

As a possible solution to the abundance of gun violence on American school campuses, the sociology teacher stressed three factors: better identification, interdiction, and treatment.

“Without exception, school shooters have demonstrated warning signs,” Mr. Kochel said. “We need to educate students on how to identify peers who are feeling violent, bullied, or compromised such that they might feel inclined toward acts of violence.”

AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher Mr. Eduardo Ramos is one of the Raider staff in favor of arming teachers.

“If a gunman was shooting at students in the quad and Officer McCready is far away, I could reach the scene faster and reduce the chances of more students getting shot,” Mr. Ramos said.

Although he supports the idea, Mr. Ramos is also aware of the potential dangers that may occur if an untrained educator possesses a gun.

“Only those who are willing and who have been properly trained should be armed,” said Mr. Ramos.

Ultimately, Mr. Ramos believes funding should be allocated toward “the safety of the students.”

Unlike Mr. Ramos, Associated Student Body (ASB) senior class president Armando Piña is opposed to arming teachers.

“If a student is really close to a teacher and knows where the teacher keeps his/her gun, you never know what the student will do with that (knowledge),” Piña said.

Mr. Ben Clancy, Self-Defense Club advisor, believes that arming teachers would exacerbate gun violence and increase the likelihood of a school shooting.

“I wouldn’t be a teacher anymore; I would be an armed officer,” Mr. Clancy said. “It’s like having a clown work as a prison guard.”

CAUSE president and senior Paulina Lopez suggests investing and improving security infrastructure on campus.

“We should also coordinate with local law enforcement and analyze the weak spots on campus so our staff will have a good idea as to what areas will be in bigger danger,” said Lopez.

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Raiders debate arming teachers