Skip to content

Stop Arming Teachers

Solutions

Stop Arming Teachers

What does it solve?

To prevent tragedies we must implement strong school safety solutions, but arming teachers is not one of them. School shootings are chaotic and in these moments of chaos, we cannot ask teachers to stop a shooter, potentially a former student.

Having access to a gun in the classroom increases the likelihood that a student will access a gun and that someone will be shot outside of an active shooter incident. Schools are places for books and backpacks, not weapons. Instead, we need proven solutions that are backed by data, and that intervene before violence occurs.

Myth & Fact

Myth

Armed teachers would keep schools safe.

Fact

There are good reasons why arming teachers is opposed by school safety experts, teachers, and law enforcement. First, when a gun is in the classroom, students can get access to it. There have been multiple incidents of students and teachers finding misplaced firearms: in bathrooms, locker rooms, even sporting events. The notion of a highly trained teacher armed with a gun, able to respond as quickly as trained law enforcement is a myth. Law enforcement officers receive hundreds of hours of training but in states that have laws to arm school personnel, school staff receive much less training.

How it works

Armed teachers are not the answer to school violence.

There is a false idea that arming teachers and school staff will make our schools safe. In fact, an armed teacher cannot, in a moment of extreme duress and confusion, be expected to transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer. An armed teacher is more likely to shoot a student bystander or be shot by responding law enforcement than to stop an active shooter in a school.

Our leaders should instead pursue evidence-based interventions, for example: Extreme Risk laws can stop people who show warning signs of danger to themselves or others from accessing and buying guns. Secure storage awareness can address the most common source of guns used in school gun violence—those taken from home. And schools can invest in mental health professionals and create threat assessment programs that identify and intervene when a student is a risk to themselves or others.

By the numbers