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Is that a gun in your teacher’s bag?

Lately in the last few months after the Newtown shooting in Connecticut, politicians and school districts around the country have been scrambling for a solution to prevent further massacres at schools and to prevent yet another loss of student lives. Both the GOP and liberals unanimously recognize the overwhelming need to protect their schools, and the real question being asked is “how?”

"The families of Newtown deserve a vote; the families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence — they deserve a simple vote.” Obama declared at his State of the Union address, on February 12, 2013, and that will finally be put to the test, here in our very own Keystone State.

Rep. George Lucas, R-Erie, is sponsoring a type of legislation that would legalize guns in schools, for teachers and school administrators, as a result of recent events; but how will arming teachers specifically prevent or abdicate shootings from taking place?

Teachers such as Mrs. Danges, a history teacher at East states that it’s a disastrous idea for teachers to be in possession of a weapon while teaching. “The real culprit is, too many dangerous firearms still on the market and are open to anyone.” “There are easier ways to prevent shootings at schools, such as establishing metal detectors, and enforcing backpack rules, so students don’t have anything to hide,” comments, Mrs. Evans, Biology teacher. She adds “having state troopers roam the halls and a better mental health support system might aid schools, seeing how the attackers have mainly been mental health patients.” Guidance counselor, Mr. Fitzpatrick remarks that mental health systems must be reinforced; under Reagan’s terms in the1980s and even under Bush, funding for mental health services have been cut.

Pennsylvania isn’t the only state, considering arming its teachers, as a safety precaution for its school, and students. GOP legislator, Tim Donnelly in California also has recently proposed a bill to arm teachers, like Rep. Lucas. He notes that the teachers in the Newtown shootings were left defenseless and feels he owes a moral obligation to. Democrats however, such as Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) makes the Democrats’ point by stating that "The goal of school safety is not to see who can win a gunfight, it is to prevent shootings in the first place and keep guns out of schools.” Lieu is an endorser of current CA legislation for every CA school to have a safety plan for emergencies. Other alternatives would consist of hiring armed guards, or retired police officers to be at the exits and entrances of schools,
It is unclear whether it’s possible that legislation from Republicans such as Rep. Lucas, or Tim Donnelly, will be successful and it will face plenty of opposition from educators and Democrats. Teachers worry about the future of school safety, and for students everywhere “to quit having to practice huddling in fear from a threat.” Fighting gun violence with gun violence isn’t on the list of highly advised solutions, when it comes to teachers. They will fight to protect their pupils, like the courageous Vicki Soto, who sacrificed herself to save her kids in Newtown. It’s time to accept the fact that these tragic events will keep occurring, unless we do something to put an end to it once and for all, for the sake of the students and their teachers.



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