No, the risks are too high

By Claire Quinlan
Lyons Township

Let me start this argument by saying that school lockdowns make my blood run cold. I was greatly affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook, and I’m constantly reading about the terrible violence surrounding many schools in Chicago.

And while I understand the emotion behind the push for gun-equipped teachers, I simply can’t imagine a time when the security and protection guns could offer would outweigh the overwhelming risk they pose to students’ lives.

Just the thought of guns in classrooms or offices at any school should raise a red flag. Take hormonal, bored teenagers, add in a fight, and you can already see the risks that are involved. Besides, the high number of school shootings in recent years leads me to believe that intruders don’t need another way to get their hands on a lethal weapon.

I recognize the pro side of this argument: Guns are given to teachers in order to protect students from danger. While a gun may ward off an intruder in those dire moments, it could cause way more problems in day-to-day life. I wouldn’t feel safe knowing my teachers had guns in their classrooms.

Police officers go through extensive gun training and carry firearms to protect us. Teachers simply don’t have the training to be trusted with a weapon like that.

The possible benefits that could come from having guns in schools simply don’t outweigh the inexcusable and unavoidable accidents that could occur as a result of them.

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Yes, Students would feel safe

By Affy Baker

After all the violence our country has seen—especially in schools—the biggest concern on people’s minds is how to stay safe. I think that allowing teachers to have guns in their classrooms will provide the comfort students need.

Although some argue that only professional public safety officials should carry concealed weapons, I believe that allowing teachers to carry guns will protect students.

If an intruder were to enter a school, more classrooms would be armed—not just the one security officer who sits in one area of the building.

With that being said, I don’t think that teachers should just be handed a gun on the first day of school. Instead, they should be psychologically analyzed, trained and tested before handling a gun. If a teacher fails to meet the requirements needed to obtain a gun, the school simply wouldn’t allow that specific teacher to have one.

It would be best if the guns were locked in a secret compartment that students couldn’t access. To ensure extra security, an alarm could go off if a teacher opens the compartment so that everyone in the school knows there’s danger and can lock down their classrooms.

Allowing only security officers to carry weapons is what we’ve been doing up until this point. Read any newspaper and you’ll see that hasn’t worked in many cases. The “norm” threatens student safety. It’s time for a change, and it should start with armed teachers.

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What do you think? Comment below or tweet us at @mashchicago!

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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