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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:13 AM

A Teacher's take on armed security in school...

This post is in relation to a question posed by my local news station

"Do you think all SA (San Antonio, TX) school campuses should be patrolled by armed guards? "

Being in Texas, you can imagine the types of responses, many in the affirmative. I teach at low income middle school on the northwest side of San Antonio. This is my initial post to this question:

"With education as underfunded as it is, where would the money to pay for this armed brigade come from exactly? Wouldn't we be better served in improving school programs rather than preparing for the most unlikely of scenarios? Isn't this like buying Volcano insurance?

In seriousness, I don't think it's a well thought out idea. The sentiment is there, but the execution would most likely be flawed, both from a financial side as well as how do you determine who to hire. Didn't NISD have an officer kill a student last year? And that was a trained professional who shot an unarmed student who did something amazingly stupid. If the officer had used a less lethal form of stopping said student, his stupid butt would still be here...for better or worse, but the officer would not have to live with having killed a teenager.

The taser idea someone mentioned earlier is novel, (someone suggested giving all teachers high powered tasers) but I'd rather not have to concern myself with whether some crazy guy is going to bust into my math class and start shooting up the place. If someone is hell bent on doing so, I don't think my stupid taser is going to do anything useful. More effective are measures to keep people who don't belong in the school, out. Auto locking doors that keep outsiders from coming in, check in stations at the office, and a presence by the administration in the halls to confront any stranger that some how got past all of that (perhaps a parent who came in the wrong door behind a child...who knows). You're not going to prevent someone who wants to go shoot up a school by having an armed guard at the school. They will go in a different way, and the size of a Texas school, you can unload a number of clips before the officer could make it safely to where a shooting is happening."

The discussion mostly ignored my post, but one about bringing back corporal punishment caught my eye and I responded as such:

"@Person who said paddling would be the way to bring back respect: that's a ridiculous idea. You're saying that we should as teachers beat our students into better discipline? How exactly does that work? I can understand the thought process behind what your saying, but you really are not giving that a reasonable amount of thought. If you had children, would you want a teacher to punish them in such a way? If you felt that you did, then why don't you do it yourself?

Students actually do know the difference from right and wrong. They are more empathetic that you realize, but that's probably because you don't actually work with children and have an uninformed opinion. That's ok, many people do, but the reality is, even in a school that has a majority of low income students, they are not as terrible as you might think. Sure there a few here and there, but that's how the world is sadly, and bring corporal punishment to the table would not help in any way as far as I'm concerned.

If you really wanted to solve the discipline problem, how about supporting teachers when they have issues and call home, and providing better funding for useful school programs that keep children out of trouble.

The idea that a few of these posts about guns and how they would keep the children in line is the exact wrong mentality toward the idea of teachers having guns in the first place. It's also the wrong idea about having a gun on campus at all. It defeats the idea of why the armed guard is there to begin with, as it's supposed to create an air of safety, and instead I believe it would create a more tense and unfriendly environment to learn.

Besides, there is an armed officer (actual SAPD) who is on campus. He doesn't patrol the halls with his gun out ready to go, but typically helps around campus with either major discipline issues (drugs/weapons) or in simply directing traffic so people don't get run over. The students respect him because he is an actual officer of the law and I don't think they really think about his sidearm.

The idea of putting armed guards on a campus will not prevent these types of attacks. No one truly knows what will prevent these types of attacks because they are carried out by people who do not operate with the same ideals and beliefs as a normal person. The reasons for such can be vast and trying to create legislature to curb this problem would be a very difficult task indeed. Some say to ban Assault Weapons, and although I'm personal for better regulations on those types of things, I do not believe it would help prevent these types of attacks.

To be honest I don't know what would prevent such an attack. You can't regulate this sort of thing out of existence. It may have been caused by gun culture, but even the "gun nuts" I know would not do such a terrible thing. They like their guns and really aren't going to go shooting up a school any time soon. And should one lose their mind and decide to do so, I doubt an armed security guard would have much effect against someone who is determined to take out a large number of people with a fire arm. As I've stated once before, due to the size of a school, it would not be difficult to scope out where the armed security officer was, and then go in a different part of the school, or simply take out the armed guy first, while wearing body armor or whatever else they can think of.

I also see people saying "They can't take our guns!" well this is a statement borne of ignorance. I've not seen a serious proposal to do such a thing, and the assault weapons ban from 1994 was not designed to take away your guns.

In short, if you read this far, kudos to you for being such an avid reader of my thoughts, but more importantly, whatever your opinion on this matter may be, we must come to the agreement that we all have our children's safety in mind, we just have different ideas of what is the best way to do that. To completely discredit another idea on the sole merit that it isn't in your realm of understanding is a large problem with our society as a whole. There is no single solution that will solve this, there is no single piece of legislation that will prevent this. It's a joint effort on everyone's part and we need to work together to achieve the best possible outcome."

What do you think?

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Reply A Teacher's take on armed security in school... (Original post)
sarin Jan 2013 OP
xxqqqzme Jan 2013 #1
sarin Jan 2013 #3
cbrer Jan 2013 #2
sarin Jan 2013 #4

Response to sarin (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:01 AM

1. Good for you!

What is the consensus at your school?

Just curious.

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Response to xxqqqzme (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:35 AM

3. I'm not sure

I suspect it's probably not too different than my own thoughts, but I have no actual way of knowing. I don't like to discuss politics with my coworkers too often.

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Response to sarin (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 04:30 AM

2. "You can't regulate this sort of thing out of existence".


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Response to cbrer (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:50 AM

4. I see

Interesting. I'll have to check out those links later.

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