Arming Teachers and Students for Protection in a Washington State Classroom © 2013 Sean T. Taeschner, M.Ed.
Dear Washington State Senator Steve Litzow,
I do not know who else to turn to regarding the emergent need, I believe, that exists for teachers in Washington State to be armed with handguns in their classrooms. After the wave of school shootings in the United States in the past sixteen-years, with no end in sight to armed intruders taking advantage of what has been deemed ‘a gun-free zone’, I see no alternative to protecting students and staff in a school building. Evidence exists that school shooters have overcome office staff, added security guards, alarms, locked doors, video surveillance systems, and office staff with ease. They simply shot their way into the building before police could respond in force. This has left teachers and their students as vulnerable targets to be slain execution-style in their classrooms. Had adults in this country had the guts to pass laws allowing teachers to be deputized as law enforcement or to open-carry handguns in classrooms or anywhere else in an educational campus, many of these shootings might have been prevented or reduced. As a Washington-State certified elementary school teacher (and currently teaching college), I see my first duty as a teacher as protecting the students in my charge. The second duty I fulfill is educating them. Other than training students to carry a can of Campbell’s soup to class each day…as an object to be thrown en masse at intruders with weapons, I see no other way to stop such potential insanity. I know many teachers who do carry handguns to schools and quietly conceal them. This comes with the great risk of losing his/her job should administration find out…or some insurance company deem them as a dangerous lawsuit risk. How would they then be bonded and the schools protected in lawsuits? How about a teacher’s inalienable right to protect himself/herself from injury or death on the...
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