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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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Staff should not be allowed firearms – North Star Take Editorial

According to an interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka and Majority Floor Leader John Diehl of Town and Country both signed onto legislation that would allow licensed teachers and administration faculty to carry a concealed firearm while at school. Governor Jay Nixon opposed the bill.

The North Star Editorial Board agrees with Nixon in that we oppose faculty being allowed to have a concealed firearm at school. With the concern of student safety in mind, the Editorial Board believes that having guns in school would make things worse.

Instead of allowing school faculty to carry a firearm, the District should be trying to figure out ways to keep intruders out of the building instead of making plans for when a gunman is already in the school.

Taking preventative actions would make arming teachers irrelevant because all schools should have safety procedures implemented already that would not allow an intruder in the school in the first place.

Currently, FHN has only one resource officer with a loaded firearm, so the District should look into increasing its number of resource officers with a loaded weapon or increasing security in the front of the building.

FHN could also hire more police officers to protect the school. Another way to increase security in the front of the building could be to move Officer Fitzgerald’s office closer to the front of the building.

Something as simple as changing the ways the school’s doors open could maintain the safety of those in the school. Currently, some of the doors in FHN open outward making it impossible for faculty to block the door from opening.

If all of the doors were to open inward, once the announcement is made about the intruder, a teacher can move something in front of the door blocking the intruder from getting into the classroom. This would allow teachers more time to ensure the safety of their students.

Some faculty simply just don’t feel comfortable with having a gun in their possession. Teachers are concerned about the responsibilities that would come with it.

According to Government teacher Matt Watson, teachers are concerned that if they had a gun and there was an intruder, the teacher with the gun would have to leave their classroom and look for the intruder, leaving their classroom of students utterly helpless.

We shouldn’t be putting concerns of maintaining a firearm or the possibility of using one around students in a teacher’s mind when they already have concerns of lesson plans, controlling students, grading students’ work and properly teaching the curriculum.

If the problem is someone unauthorized having a gun in the school, then putting more guns in the school isn’t the answer. A classroom gun could end up in the hands of a student or anyone who may enter school.

If a law such as this were to pass, intruders could also easily plan to overtake a school using its own weapons against them.

While school officials might lock up their guns, it is possible for a determined student or intruder to locate the gun and learn the combination to a lock.

Even if a gun is physically on a faculty member, a group could overtake them to retrieve the gun. Then, once again, there is the wrong person with a loaded gun in the classroom full of students, which is exactly what everyone is trying to avoid.

Allowing more guns in the school is not a solution and shouldn’t even be an option. There are much smarter and more practical ways to accomplish the goal of keeping students safe.

If FHN were to allow faculty to carry guns, it’d only create more problems. The solution is better preparing schools to keep out an intruder rather than preparing faculty to react to one.

 

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