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Should US School Security Personnel be Armed?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 1559 words Published: 5th Nov 2021

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School safety has been an issue within the United States for years. An educational environment was once perceived as a safe place for children, teenagers, and adults. As the occurrence of violence in schools increased, communities across the nation called for state lawmakers and school districts to construct a solution to prevent gun violence in schools from occurring. Some people view bringing guns into schools fuel up violence while others claim it will provide the children protection.(Rich, Motoko. ​ "School Officials Look Again at SecurityMeasures Once Dismissed."​) To create a safer learning environment, the administration needs to take the required steps to keep intruders who don't belong in the school out. Questions were raised on school officials being armed in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 27 lives were taken, most of those being elementary school kids.

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After the Sandy Hook incident, officials across the nation have been reviewing security protocol, trying to decide whether they need armed security guards or not. ("Five Ways the U.S.Could Reduce Gun Violence."​) 23,200 schools across the country are public schools, with one third having security staff who are armed. There has been a debate on the need for armed security in schools across the country. The reason most elementary schools do not have armed security is that the faculty believe they are not needed and uncalled for. A bill was vetoed by a Democrat because there was not enough training to cover the requirements and unaware of how many have a police background.

A school security guard is responsible for ensuring the safety of all people in school. (fredericksburg, Recent law allowing armed school security officers will probably have littleeffect locally​) Students and faculty members would be protected efficiently if change was enforced. In order to have a safer environment, officers need to adapt to the settings of a school community and be properly trained to ensure the safety of others. According to a new NYT/CBS poll, 74% percent of Americans believe more security guards would help prevent mass shootings. (Shen, Aviva. ​ "The Dangers Of Putting More Armed Guards In Schools."​ ​) Guards who carry guns have to undergo training because it's a new law. (fredericksburg) School boards have the option of having armed security but it's not a requirement. (fredericksburg) The bill would allow former law enforcement officers to carry guns while working as security in public schools. The bill would allow more retired officers to apply for positions as security in public schools. (fredericksburg) Little do they know special officers must be employed, retired and 65 years old to do training, and they don't receive health benefits. Only one out of fifteen meet the criteria for armed guards in public schools. (fredericksburg) Governor vetoed a bill a couple of months ago because special law enforcement officers didn't do special training to cover important issues going on in schools now.

The question of arming schools is the wrong way to start the conversation about how to increase school safety. Experts on education and safety said even if the district could afford more armed guards, they might not be the best decision. Especially if students feel like the decision will be more life-threatening.(Rich, Motoko.​ )​ Obama and state lawmakers had rushed to send in more armed guards who will likely make the problem even worse. Students believe they are not safe if they have to go through metal detectors or pass armed security. Guns and security don't make kids feel safer. It increases their senses and surroundings that they aren't safe. Studies have failed to find a link between armed guards and safer schools. If you have a school where an officer needs a gun then you have a problem on your hands.Some Democrats voted against guns in school because of the loose restrictions on weapons.

Many ways to keep the physical plant safe without having security armed. Education and support services said resource officers cost up to $100,000 each that could be better used to improve school climates and expand other services. Two of the most deadly shootings in United States history occurred at Columbine and Virginia Tech on campus with security guards. (Shen,​ Aviva.)​ Studies have been unable to show that armed guards make schools any safer. (Shen,​ Aviva.)​ Using security could put obstacles in the path for staff and students. A bill was vetoed by the governor allowing people who have registered guns to carry them in school. Supporters of gun control oppose teachers having weapons and some think it's okay to keep students safe. Having several staff members with weapons were more effective than a security guard. For example, a school in the Amish community couldn't afford security guards so they took matters into their own hands. In order for students to be protected, the teachers had to be armed.

Students are more likely to be at risk for being treated like criminals after what happened at Sandy Hook. Looking at behavior through the criminal lens could turn schools into a very different culture. In addition, unarmed officers could lead a school to criminalize behavior that educators normally handle. Children who grow up believing there is danger out there have a hard time trusting people around them . Schools should educate elementary students before bringing in armed officers. The message to kids is that school is that a school is a dangerous place and they need to be protected. At a young age if children see that someone must be armed in schools there is a negative effect on them. If firearms are needed to keep students safe they are giving them a mixed message whether their school is safe or not. School should be a place to grow up to learn and have fun.

It is an escalation of gun violence of a learning environment that has been rocked by carnage and trauma that isn't being contained. Ultimately it is where violence in America is not an aberration but a way of life. Loopholes now exist in the background check system that makes it possible for people with criminal records or mental health issues to process guns. We don't need more good guys with guns, we need bad guys without them. The need to tighten restrictions on gun sales and to strengthen background checks by closing those very loopholes.

A Democratic proposal to strengthen treatment for mental health issues failed along with the proposal to strengthen background checks and block people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns and ammunition. A series of Democrats voted to reduce gun violence and it failed on a forty-eight out of fifty votes. It died on the floor because it didn't attract enough support. We are a country that has too much violence and too many ways to have people hurt or killed and not enough access to health services.(Rich, Motoko.​ )​ For these reasons, security guards being armed would only create the opposite of the desired effect. Not everyone is qualified to hold a weapon and let's keep it that way.

Work Cited

Branscome, Jeff. "Recent Law Allowing Armed School Security Officers Will Probably Have Little Effect Locally." Fredericksburg.com​ ​, 28 Mar. 2017, www.fredericksburg.com/news/education/recent-law-allowing-armed-school-security-off icers-will-probably-have/article_76cbe9f6-d718-5e57-9627-d13436638c44.html.

Rich, Motoko. "School Officials Look Again at Security Measures Once Dismissed." The NewYork Times​, The New York Times, 18 Dec. 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/education/after-newtown-shootings-schools-consider-arme d-security-officers.html?mcubz=3.​

Shen, Aviva. "The Dangers Of Putting More Armed Guards In Schools." ThinkProgress​ ​, 17 Jan. 2013, https://thinkprogress.org/the-dangers-of-putting-more-armed-guards-in-schools-b79572b22869/.

"Five Ways the U.S. Could Reduce Gun Violence." CBS News​ ​, CBS Interactive, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/five-ways-the-us-could-reduce-gun-violence/.


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