Where’s the “Safe” in the School Safety and Security Act?

Wheres+the+Safe+in+the+School+Safety+and+Security+Act%3F

White signs hanging on every front door of every public school in America read

DRUG

FREE

WEAPONS

FREE

ZONE,

meaning nobody, with the exception of trained law enforcement, is permitted to possess a weapon, concealed or not, on the premises. In Wyoming however, the latest legislative decision on teachers’ being allowed to carry guns has passed. Wyoming’s School Safety and Security Act will allow local school boards to decide if district employees may be armed in school buildings. The law states that any school employees or volunteers would be allowed to carry firearms.

Guns in classrooms provide opportunity for accidents, such as the Idaho State professor who shot himself in the foot during a chemistry lecture, or the sixth grade Utah teacher who shot herself in the leg during her pre-class bathroom break. They were both legally carrying, and yet they not only hospitalized themselves, but they could have sent students to the Main Office in the Sky.

Guns on campus, even if carried by adults with training, still provide opportunities for dangerous situations to arise. If a student knows there is a weapon in the room, they could obtain the gun and have a hayday. In high pressure or high stress situations, there’s no telling what an average person would do. There’s absolutely no guarantee that an armed classroom teacher would be able to pull a weapon on a student or violent intruder. It’s not in the nature of your typical educator.  

With budget cuts hitting our school district so hard, should we spend funds to train teachers with fire arms? There’s talk of cutting teacher salaries, and yet if the school board decided to implement this policy, training staff to safely carry a weapon would still cost money we simply don’t have. Even if teachers were trained, it would be a very basic, learn-how-not-to-shoot-yourself course, not the in-depth, career training in which law enforcement learns to assess critical situations where they need to act under extreme pressure.  

According to the March 23rd issue of the Cody Enterprise, in response to Cody schools’ implementing the Safety and Security Act, school board trustee Scott Weber said, “Whenever you say guns in schools, the chicken littles come out and say, ‘My kid’ll get shot’.”

Yes, Mr. Weber, a reasonable fear. No one is saying, “The sky is falling.” But the logic is clear: parents shouldn’t have to worry any more than they already do. Guns in schools would provide little (if any) protection for students and faculty.

Members of our school board should leave firearms in the hands of the professionals who have years of proper training in handling violent incidents. Cody has already taken many precautions in order to ensure the safety of our students, but allowing teachers to carry or have a weapon in the classroom would not only be intimidating and unsettling to students of all ages, but it would only raise the chances of having a tragedy in our little town.