Guns in our safe place


School marshal students demonstrate scenario exercises with simulated firearms as part of a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement training at Windermere Elementary School in 2018. [AMANDA VOISARD / AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Story by Makenzie Hofert, staff writer

School shootings can happen on a campus at the most unexpected times. On June 21, a 15-year-old student in Flint, Michigan was shot in a parking lot right outside Carman Ainsworth High School. On May 17, another student was shot at a football game at Terry Parker High School. On April 1 in Prescott, Arkansas a student at Prescott High School shot an 8th grader in the hallway. The scenarios are the most scarring due to the surprise, causing vulnerability.

Situations like these cause teachers and students of larger and more populated school districts to feel like they are in danger. In many states, arming teachers has been viewed as a possible solution among citizens. Lawmakers have decided to allow armed teachers on campus as a safety concern. 

Initially, this would appear to be a solution to a problem that has escalated and grown out of hand over the years. However, there are some disagreements due to the widely ignored possible consequences that may be the result of this new decision. Placing a gun in an environment with many children with wandering imaginations could cause more problems. You can’t think of every possible scenario that may happen in the future, and anything could go wrong. Change invites possible risks that may cause school to be more dangerous than before.

The School Marshal Program law was officially passed in late May by the Texas Senate stating that public school districts are able to appoint School Marshals. The requirements to be selected as a school marshal don’t seem to match up to the title though, as it states you must be an employee of the school, have concealed carry license along with a psychological exam and an 80 hour school marshal course. Selected school marshal should be someone of former practice with a gun rather than a teacher at a school. Perhaps a former police officer or somebody with a job in relation to law enforcement would fit this position better.

It seems that the law is more comforting than enforcing to the public. The idea of having firearms within school limits seems to be irresponsible and not completely thought out. Many students are interested with the new idea of the school employees being allowed to hold armed weapons during school regulated hours. In fact, they may challenge the new source of authority causing a new problem. 

Every solution embarks a new problem waiting to be fixed. It seems as though this idea of allowing firearms in schools would make the school shootings escalate at a faster rate. School is meant to be a safe, regulated environment issued with few risks. Parents permit their children to go to school for the sole purpose of learning.

Allowing the school staff to hold a weapon could result in students feeling vulnerable. School is not meant to be a place for firearms. Instead of adding more to our initial problem, there should be more people working on a way to prevent guns from being on school grounds in the first place.