by Laura Carno
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- When it comes to school violence, why do we expect teachers to die to protect kids, when there is a lawful option for them to protect their kids and live?
Think about football coach Aaron Feis at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Coach Feis had no choice but to put his body between bullets and kids. He died a hero to protect kids. But what if he had a choice to live and protect those same kids?
In many states, there are lawful methods to allow armed staff on K-12 campuses, which typically includes the authorization of an individual to act as a member of school security, and a contract between the school board and the employee. This is different than schools that have School Resource Officers (SROs) or other full-time, armed and uniformed security guards.
We ask a lot of teachers, but we shouldn’t ask them to face deranged killers with no chance to save their lives and the lives of their kids.
But that is exactly what we ask teachers and other school staff members to do when the law prohibits them from defending themselves, and the children whose safety is entrusted to them, when they are faced with someone armed in their school.
There are thousands of school staffers who are lawfully armed across the country in K-12 schools today. Who are these volunteers? They are teachers, janitors, principals, and superintendents. Most have had their Concealed Weapons Permit for years and have already made the decision to protect themselves and their families outside of the workplace. They have simply been —up to the point of being authorized to carry— disarmed at work.
Why should the natural right of a school staff member to choose her own self-defense and the defense of those around her, end when she walks on campus?
Many feel better about the safety of their local campus when they have an SRO or other full-time security staff. And they should. The addition of a highly visible security force can be helpful in preventing some episodes of school violence, and on-site security can be helpful with immediate response in the aftermath of an incident. But it’s not enough in the case of these sick killers who plan out their massacres carefully. Because SROs and other security officers are in uniform, the killer knows just where they are. If a school is large enough for an SRO, it has multiple doors, multiple hallways, and likely multiple buildings.
There was an SRO on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the massacre. He wasn’t anywhere near the scene of the carnage, and that may have been by the killer’s design.
In the 2013 murder of 17-year-old Claire Davis at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO, there was also an SRO on the campus. He heard the gunfire and sprinted at full-speed toward the sound of the guns. It took him 45-seconds to get to the scene. When the SRO arrived, the gunman shot himself, potentially saving more lives. But it wasn’t enough to save Claire.
In Colorado, school boards and charter school boards can authorize staff to carry concealed on campus. At FASTERColorado.com, we train these heroes for free if the school can’t afford the tuition. We imported this 3-day, lifesaving training curriculum from FASTERSavesLives.org in Ohio. The Ohio team is helping other states to rollout this critical training.
Consider this: the mindset of an active killer is to have as high a body count as they can manage. Most don’t fear death because that is part of their plan. What they do fear is dying without the “fame” that comes with taking a high number of innocents with them. More armed, anonymous, concealed-carriers on campus provide a better opportunity to stop the slaughter when it starts.
Armed teachers have a fighting chance to stop the killer and save their kids. We shouldn’t expect them to die to protect their kids, when there is a legal option in most states for them to protect their kids —and live.
Laura Carno is the Executive Director of FASTERColorado.com, an organization that trains armed first responders in schools to stop the threat and stop the bleeding.