Editor:
Whenever another school shooting occurs, the issue of arming teachers is proposed as a solution.

Yes, I understand that the best way to stop an active shooter scenario is for a “good” person with a gun to act!

I grew up in the gun culture and believe in the Second Amendment within reason.

In my youth, as a front-line combat soldier (Congressional Soldiers Medal recipient), I am well-versed in gun use and safety.

As a former teacher, if I were still teaching today, I would refuse to have a firearm on campus.

Too many things can go terribly wrong. In a panic situation, a poorly trained scared person could cause “collateral” damage. A teacher’s instinct is to protect their students even if they place their safety at risk.

We see this by how many teachers have paid the ultimate price in past events.

I propose that classrooms need to be “hardened” where students can be safe until law enforcement alleviates the threat.

Can school districts afford the cost to retrofit every classroom with what would be needed? The answer is, “Of course not!”

Many teachers are already paying money out of their pockets for supplies for their classes.

Have we reached the point where every person entering a school building or school-sponsored event must pass through a metal detector and be patted down and backpacks searched?

If I lost a child to a disturbed person, my answer would be, “Do whatever is necessary to prevent the loss of our children!”
This will require action on a national level. Good luck there!

There are many solutions proposed that have merit, but in my opinion, armed, poorly trained teachers are not the answer.

Questions to be asked at school board meetings in districts considering such a move, are as follows:

Will the district pay for the necessary training?

Will a teacher evaluation include firearm and crisis training?

Will the district assume legal responsibility for a teacher’s defense or will they “stand alone,” providing for their own defense?

During my 28 years as a public-schools shop teacher, when a student would pass on to me information about a possible threat situation, I would pass the tips on to my superiors.

Knowing how all too often nothing would be done, I would visit with the troubled student and gently diffuse the potential threat.

Most often, the situation was a scared, bullied kid who brought a weapon of some sort to school. It used to be a pocketknife, but today it’s a firearm!

Yes, many parents will scream, “You are violating my child’s civil rights!” Doesn’t a “shooter” deprive others of their rights? We can’t have it both ways.

Parents, these are different times. If you have a viable solution, let’s hear about it!

Dan McClarin
Northwest Albuquerque

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