No Teachers With Guns, No Police In Schools

On December 30, 2012, President Obama said he doubted arming school police with guns will prevent future school shootings, but then January 11, 2013’s EdWeek hints that he may yield to local law enforcement officers and communities if it has “bipartisan” support.

While President Barack Obama said recently that he would be skeptical that more guns would be an answer to school safety, his administration is considering paying to add police officers to secure public schools, in part because it may be an area of agreement among lawmakers of all stripes.

In that same EdWeek article, my own Senator, Barbara Boxer, presented such a plan to Vice President Joe Biden:

California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, told the Washington Post she presented the plan to Vice President Joe Biden and he was “very, very interested” and may include it policy recommendations he makes to President Obama.

“If a school district wants to have a community policing presence, I think it’s very important they have it,” Boxer said in an interview Thursday. “If they want uniformed officers, they can do it. If they want plainclothed officers, they can do it.”

Boxer’s initiative would provide federal dollars to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment. It wouldn’t go as far as the National Rifle Association’s proposal to provide armed guards at every public school.

Here’s what damaging about Senator Boxer’s well-meaning plan: it’s not a good solution to the Kern County shooting that happened in California, Senator Boxer’s home state, during Vice President Joe Biden’s press conference on changing gun laws. It falsely uses the urgency of the situation to make more guns at schools a priority and a solution in search of a problem.

And more importantly, Senator Boxer’s plan creates a federal funding stream for increased police presence on school campuses, which is too closely aligned with the NRA’s goal of a militia in every school. Funding creates demand. School districts that never would’ve launched the initiative to do this will now apply for funds to enable them to do this. Let local decisions stay local. We don’t need federal solutions firehosed from on high.

In Texas, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst calls for teachers to be trained in gun use:

Dewhurst said school districts would nominate who they wanted to carry weapons on campus. The training would be more extensive than what is currently required for Texas concealed handgun license and include how to react technically and emotionally in an active shooter situation on a school campus.

President Obama, Senator Boxer (!), Lt. Governor Dewhurst, with all due respect — are you INSANE? Have you lost your respective minds?

Do I need to surgically implant a spine in your back?

Let’s keep our eye on the ball and stay focused on gun violence prevention that works: closing private gun sale loopholes, better public safety laws that strengthen mental health and criminal checks for gun owners, limiting military-grade high-capacity magazines, and so on.

SIGN THE K12NN PETITION TO DROP THIS VERY BAD IDEA NOW.

For shame, I never would’ve thought my own “liberal” Senator would cave to the gun sales pitches of the NRA masquerading as policy. We do not need guns on campus. NCLB provides for expulsion of students who bring weapons, including guns, on campus. Then why do we invite adults to bring guns on campus in the name of “safety”? Do as we say, not as we do?

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I'm Cynthia Liu, Owner/Founder of K12 News Network. I'm the proud product of public schools through post-grad, the mom of a child in public schools, and the daughter of two teachers. Connect with me professionally on LinkedIn.

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9 Comments

  1. Deb McCurdy - January 12, 2013, 10:09 am

    From the National PTA — an organization that has at least 1,000,000 more members than the NRA: “To achieve an effective school climate, schools must be completely gun-free. Parents, educators, community members, and government must prioritize this issue to ensure a safe learning environment for all students.”

    • admin - January 12, 2013, 11:01 am

      Great point! What if the PTA had the proportional political weight of the NRA? Parents, speak up! Your voices are needed.

    • Eric Griffin - January 14, 2013, 10:34 am

      Gun Free Zones? Seriously? Just put up a sign that says “unarmed victims here.”

      You do realize that every mass shooting in the past 10 years (except for one) was committed in a Gun Free Zone.

      Sorry, but feel good sentiment isn’t going to cut it when childrens’ lives are on the line.

    • Deb McCurdy - March 13, 2013, 9:27 am

      Yes, it’s elementary,Eric. For the safety of our children — NO GUNS AT SCHOOLS!

      “A New York town that began assigning an armed police officer to guard a high school in the wake of the Connecticut massacre has suspended the program after an officer accidentally discharged his pistol in a hallway while classes were in session.”
      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/sean-mccutcheon-officer-gun-suspended.php

  2. Jerry Williams - January 21, 2013, 9:13 am

    this is incredibly stupid, no police at the school??? how is that supposed to help anything at all? that’s basically just taking the only defense schools have away. Someone please explain to me how this is beneficial because right now every signature i just see an ignorant dipshit that sees the word gun and thinks its the devil

    • admin - January 22, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Take a look at what the majority of people in deep-red Oklahoma are saying: http://huff.to/V54sZL

      It seems the more competent and safety-conscious a gun owner you are (at least in OK), the more likely you are to be horrified at the thought of well-meaning but untrained teachers packing heat around children.

      Isn’t it enough that we ask teachers to excel at teaching? To make them security guards on top of teaching seems a bit much.

      And I’d add that having a security guard or School Resources Officer is not an answer either. It didn’t help at Columbine, it wouldn’t have helped in an Aurora movie theatre.

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