An active shooter on campus is the worst-case scenario school officials and parents could ever imagine.

The Guardian program making the rounds in rural school districts, including a few in the Crossroads area, is putting weapons in the hands of teachers to combat such a scenario.

Through the program, a teacher can volunteer to be a guardian and receive training and evaluations before having their classroom fitted with a handgun locked in a small safe.

We don’t think this is the correct move for school districts seeking more protection in an active-shooter incident.

Here are a few key points to think about:

The little training teachers receive will never be adequate in the face of a real-time incident where actions seemingly come at you at 1,000 miles per hour. Real police and deputies sometimes can’t handle the pressure, as was the case in the Stoneman Douglas shooting

  • .
  • In a classroom, what good is a weapon if you can’t access it within seconds? And, there’s a strong chance an armed teacher is much more likely to accidentally shoot an innocent student or be shot by law enforcement than to be an effective solution to an active shooter in a school.
  • What kind of background checks do teachers face? We put a lot of trust in teachers, and almost all of it is well-deserved. But even teachers crack. There are reported instances of teachers fighting with students, or teachers losing their cool around students. Add the potential of a weapon in an case like that, and it’s bad news all around.

We understand the main arguments for such a program.

The Guardian program is becoming prominent in rural school communities because of the vast space between schools and limited law enforcement resources, which creates longer response times.“The reason we wanted a Guardian program is because we are more rural,” Edna school board member Brandon Peters told the Advocate. “We can’t depend on a quick response time. I think that’s the society we live in today.”Some might argue that it’s even a Second Amendment issue. But it’s not.

Instead of putting guns in schools, let’s continue to look at other emerging technology or items that make schools and classrooms safer, like implementing expert-endorsed security upgrades.

We commend any teacher who wants to step in between an active shooter and a student. That’s the definition of a hero.

At the end of the day, though, teachers having guns in a classroom provides a false sense of security. The level of training required to be proficient in this tense situation is tremendous.

Putting weapons in schools isn’t the best solution.{/div}

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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(3) comments

Martin Strarup

"Putting weapons in schools isn’t the best solution."

In your opinion it isn't the best solution. Since the concept hasn't been tested we don't know if it's the best solution or not. I can tell you that you can teach a person how to handle a situation, how to shoot and how to be aware of your surroundings; they just have to WANT to learn it.

Michael Gomez

Teachers are educators not law-enforcement. In the shooting Incidents I have read about ,First responders have answered rather quickly. I worry about crossfire, extra people with guns that law-enforcement will have to sort out on arrival, and a false sense of security.

Dale Zuck

Very wise thoughts. Let us all voluntarily keep all guns out of all locations. And we can wonder why it took law enforcement so long to respond. As our leaders live behind strong walls and accompanied by armed guards.... the rest of us are on our own. Great words of wisdom, Advocate.

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