U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Solid facts are rare in the ocean of opinion about arming teachers. Allowing armed defenders in school is a polarized issue with plenty of passion. The legacy news media feeds us lots of emotion but they have relatively little data and analysis.
I asked the best sources I could find if school staff should be armed to protect our students. Their answer was clear.
I spoke to the brain trust at Tactical Defense Institute (TDI). These men and women built the training curriculum recommended for school resource officers (SROs) across the country. These analysts and instructors also provided regional training for SWAT officers. They took their classes across the US to train local law enforcement instructors. They train the trainers.
The instructors at TDI examine police reports to uncover what works and what doesn’t work. It is their job to study new threats on the street and then recommend changes in the way law enforcement officers are trained. They looked at the attacks on our schools and said that school resource officers alone were not enough to protect our students.
For one thing, there were too many times when SROs were not on campus. In addition, the SROs were an obvious target during an attack. The SROs were also spread too thin to respond quickly. Protecting our students from a murderer is a battle against time.
The sooner the murderer is stopped, the fewer students will be injured. The sooner the murderer is stopped, the faster we can treat the injured and save lives. One of the largest teacher training programs is called FASTER, though the acronym stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. FASTER trains first responders to stop the killer and stop the bleeding until help arrives.
What we’ve done in the past isn’t working any longer. A uniformed school resource officer is a visible sign of authority on campus. That is an effective deterrent most of the time. That deterrent works right up until the moment it doesn’t. We have many examples when attackers either waited for the uniformed officer to leave campus, or when murderers began their attack by killing the uniformed officer or driving him away from the school. Sadly, we have also seen recent examples of police officers who hid outside the school while our children died.
One dedicated officer ran toward the sound of gunfire and arrived too late. Yes, he responded as fast as he could, but he also saw a student who was horribly wounded in the attack. That student would die a short time later at the hospital. This long serving police officer and SWAT cop knows that a few seconds make the difference between life and death. Given his experience, this officer wants armed school staff to protect students. He knows that teachers are closer to the students than he is. Therefore, teachers can respond faster to an attack on their school.
That isn’t a feeling or an opinion. That is the hard lesson this officer learned from an actual attack on a Colorado high school. Today, this officer instructs selected school staff on how to carry loaded firearm on campus. We might want to listen to him.
Lots of sheriffs will give you their opinion. It is more credible to ask sheriffs who have actual experience with armed staff in their county schools. I went to Ohio where the FASTER program has trained over a thousand school staff members. Ohio sheriffs have seen the programs from beginning to end. Sheriffs are an active part of the screening and the training process for armed school staff.
Some of these sheriffs ran side-by-side tests comparing school staff and police officers in the same exercise. They looked at who got to the scene first. It usually takes officers a few extra minutes to arrive on scene. The sheriffs also looked at what the responders did once they arrived. I spoke with a deputy who started out opposed to armed school staff but became an advocate. He said, “I hope sheriffs look at this with an open mind.”
Many have. 82 of Ohio’s 88 sheriffs approve armed school staff in their counties.
While I was in Ohio, I participated in a refresher training class for school staff who are already protecting their students. These teachers were honest with me about the problems of being an armed defender and medical first responder. They said, “Of course, things could go wrong. I could get shot by the attacker, but it would be worse to do nothing and see my kids killed.” They take their responsibility seriously.
I was honored to be a student alongside these teachers and administrators. I’ve never carried a gun and bandages to save our students. I’m glad to learn from those who have. If you want to know if school staff should be armed, then you might want to learn from the cafeteria workers, custodians, teachers, principals, and school superintendents who volunteered to put their body between our kids and a bullet. They weighed the costs if they were armed and the costs if they were unarmed. They make the decision to be an armed protector every day.
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.
I believe that a teacher with a weapon is a good idea, and the teacher should not mind either, after all she could also be a target. But I also read an article about a school shooting in Israel in 1974 where multiple stuents and teachers were killed or wounded, and Israel immediately installed a high fence around all of their schools with one gate, and they put armed guards (army) and no one passed these gates with out ID, and a good reason to enter, the only people that were injured since, were the the intruders, and very few… Read more »
bad idea it takes a lot of training to produce a security officer for the job of protecting school kids. it is a full time job. when teachers are teaching they can not stay alert to sudden threats.
Merli, I think you and so mamy others are missing the point: arming & training faculty is not going to eliminate the problem completely. But it WILL help save lives! A teacher doesn’t need to be on “high alert” to stop a murderous gunman who walks into their classroom and starts shooting their students. That’s a no brainer – you shoot back!! If teachers are armed & trained, at least they have a CHANCE to stop the carnage. If they are unarmed all they can do is watch their children being slaughtered one by one until the killer runs out… Read more »
@Merlin Wood Having teachers armed doesn’t make them a security officer but, first responders. If shots are fired in a school the armed teachers will hear it & prepare, they will have a way to defend. So please elaborate about all the training for security officer??? When “Highly trained officers shoot more innocent bystanders than the bad guys, there has been 2 just recently. Just because someone is a Cop, security or what ever doesn’t mean they know sh!t about guns & how ever good you are at the range on paper you are only half as good as you… Read more »
i was trained and worked security in some places where gunfire was constant . many of the officers i worked were ex police officers that got fired for good reasons. the training for a school officer would be the most difficult of all. no room for error, instant reaction and it has to be the right action
Having Teachers armed would detour a lot of school shootings. It is about control and safety.
I myself am a survivor of being a gunshot victim and the only reason it happened is that my best friend was not armed.
More guns and a bunch of already hormoned up teenagers. What could possibly go wrong?
How about a serious comment, rather than snide remarks? No one’s talking about arming kids.
Politicians only see dead school children as “tragedy not to be wasted” for their political benefit. What are the chances that a government operative locates a troubled young person….or an adult…..and nudges them to tragedy.
NAW…not our government. But, then, our government would never:
-traffic guns into Mexico to blame US gun laws….NAW
-weaponize the IRS to inhibit Conservative groups….NAW
-use the FBI to protect “above the law” Clintoneez traitors…..NAW
-use the media to nudge elections…..NAW
NAW….NAW….NAW….not my government.
Go to your State and Federal legislators. Tell them they should only get as much protection as they provide for our children in schools. No guns protecting school children…..no guns protecting legislators. AND VOTE THAT WAY!!!!
You get an A+. That is where it has to start, Thank You.
Why hasn’t Andy been banned from this site?
Let me try and answer: I don’t speak for Fredy but I believe he gives everyone the opportunity to make an ass out of themselves. Even though it’s a private forum and he COULD ban Andy, Fredy likes the idea of free speech. How’s that? 🙂
@minute-man, Andy Buckmichael. You have to read Andy’s comments and make up your own mind about Andy.
@ Jim Hovater Because If you are a Constitutionalist or even remotely on the Right, We don’t believe in banning speech. Instead, use his own words as a testimony against his actions that will haunt his reputation as long as he stays here. He has a right to be an idiot, but you also have a right to remind him that he did it. “The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. In the long run it will create a generation… Read more »
In retrospect, Gentlemen, you are absolutely correct.
The political left is using the school shootings to gain political support: it’s as simple and as sinister as that. It’s up to parents to protect their children, so if your school doesn’t have armed professionals, you should voice your concerns at the state level and e-mail your reps.
In an emergency situation, TEACHERS are the ‘First Redponders’. I’m a teacher in a high school of over 1,200 students. Connected to my school is a junior high school of over 800 students. I’m also a former LEO, trained in ASR. Give me something other than a baseball bat to protect my students, my colleagues, and myself. Please.
A minimum mandatory requirement for teachers should be the knowledge and ability to use first aid to minimize trauma including blood loss. First Aid trauma kits should be in every school room with a knowledgeable adult who could teach kids how to use the contents including tourniquets. Wouldn’t that be more useful than basket weaving?
That might be all swell & dandy for after the fact like the emts do…..But does nothing to address the situation that’s being referenced or stopping the problem from continuing.
How many school shootings had occurred where this sign is posted? Warning! The staff is armed and will take whatever action necessary to protect our students!
Gun control is not about facts. A quick effective response by armed staff will only work against the gun control pundits. They don’t really care about the lives of the children just pushing their gun control agenda. We know it isn’t about guns it is people. During construction yard work we had machete wielding foreigners walking around our school. No children were hurt but it did worry the teachers. Not all teachers would be armed some are terrified to defend themselves that is okay the one across the hallway chances are would and could if given the legal opportunities.
@Sambo, the ones that will not defend themselves will serve a purpose. But why have We the People not organized to safe guard our children, and negate this fake justification for civilian disarmament?
Whatever is done, keep local law enforcement out of the schools. They do not have the intelligence to do the job. The majority are goons.
Andy Buckmichael, there are bad actors and incompetents in every profession. To paint with a broad brush all local LEOs as unintelligent goons however is, at best, inaccurate, and, in reality, libelously inconsistent with facts. I have been privileged to know hundreds of brave, dedicated law enforcement personnel over the years who, like their their millions of counterparts across the country, go to work daily ready to run toward and confront evil in society’s stead. This is borne out by the many documentable incidents of local law enforcement officers effectively confronting deranged killers before SWAT teams arrive. Llke the brave… Read more »
To all: Andy is an anti-cop troll who goes through Ammoland and other sites bashing police every chance he gets. Pay him no mind, don’t respond and we can hope that he crawls back under his rock.
Well said ! If our officers were as ill prepared as Andy has stated then neither he or our officers would last for ten minutes on the streets in certain towns ! There would be complete and utter chaos 24/7 ! I fully support our officers! God bless you all.
wrong, i do think you could qualify to do the job
One of the most ridiculous comments I ever heard or read came from a young woman at Virginia Tech. She asked what good it would do to be armed when a gunman was about to shoot you. And she was serious. Duh! If you’re not armed,, fight back with whatever you can get your hands on– books, chairs, tables, bottles, you name it. Don’t just stand there and die. You might also save others.
@PETE, Unless you’ve been in the military, most people these days do not have that mindset. Most do not know how to survive to defend themselves when someone intimidates them or bullies them.
Pete,..the woman’s got the built-in indoctrinated victim mentality -brought to us all by the brain washing of thousands of entrenched socialists that ‘we’ let infiltrate and ruin our education systems in the last 80 to 100 years into millions of kids. Hell, do they ever teach civics or the Bill of Rights any more? All this useless and ridiculous hand wringing and hysteria about ” evil guns ” is all part of the global oligarch’s master plan to disarm the world; use a bunch of docile innocent ‘victims’, first made unarmed & submissive by your non-stop passiveist propaganda,…let them get… Read more »
When they teach the Bill Of Rights it is with the liberal/socialist lies.