President Trump wants states to arm selected teachers in schools after the Florida school shooting that killed 17:
It turns out that this policy has already been in effect for years in several Missouri school districts. Aaron Sydow, superintendent of a district in the city of West Plains, told USA Today that it’s “sad that it’s come to this” but necessary.
COMMON SENSE POLICY:
It makes sense to arm teachers who live in rural areas like these in Missouri because it would take way too long for police officers to arrive.
Teachers interested in carrying concealed weapons go through 40 hours of training — which also includes a psychiatric evaluation. Those who pass must also undergo 24 hours of training every year. He said there are “several” teachers armed in the school but wouldn’t say how many for security reasons.
After all, Sydow’s school district has been doing it for years.
Sydow is the superintendent of the Fairview R-XI School District in West Plains, Mo. Shortly after 20 first-graders were killed in 2012 at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Fairview schools partnered with a local security company to start arming some teachers.
More than a dozen other Missouri schools have followed Fairview’s lead.
The American Federation of Teachers this week came out against arming teachers. And the three biggest school districts in the Springfield area told the News-Leader they have no plans to adopt the president’s suggestion.
The debate about whether teachers should be armed was thrust back into the national discussion after a gunman killed 17 people last week at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Sydow said when he started in education 20 years ago, he could not have imagined teachers walking the hallways with concealed handguns, but this is a different day and age.
Sydow said one reason why the district felt it would be a good idea to arm teachers is because of the rural location of the school in Howell County.
“If there was an event out here at this particular school and if a sheriff’s deputy was sitting in his car at the sheriff’s office waiting for us to call, it would be a minimum of 8 minutes before arrival,” Sydow said.