Armed guards in schools are not a good solution


Sophomore Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald, Guest Writer

Imagine a formerly peaceful school environment, where parents and staff are entering freely and students are changing classes. Now imagine an “army like” state with lockdowns, patrolling armed officers, and interrogation of visitors. Armed guards patrolling public schools do not offer a safer environment for students, teachers, and staff members.  

Armed guards cannot stop all school violence. The attack on Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, on April 20, 1999 left 15 dead, even with two armed guards present at the school during the attack. Despite 90% of schools heightening their security since the 2012 Sandy Hook incident, the rate of school violence has not decreased. Violent offenders tend to be unpredictable and impulsive. If they go into a school with bad intentions, a couple of armed guards would not be able to change that. With violent intentions, the guards could start a crossfire incident, putting more students at risk, and make the school a less safe environment.

There are many entrances to a school building, such as doors, wings, windows, and gymnasiums. Each district would have to have at least a dozen guards for every school. Randi Weingarten, President of American federation of teachers in 2012, believes there are too many entrances in public schools to cover every single one of them. Providing a few armed guards to a school doesn’t make it safer because intruders can enter through an entrance that is not guarded.

Armed guards would crush the image of happy, focused students cheerfully and securely entering the school each morning with smiling educators to greet them. Students generally feel safe at school. The placement of armed guards ready at each entrance sends the message that students need to be worried and afraid. Armed guards create mental fear among students and staff, and will not make the school a safer environment to learn.

The NRA says “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun,” and it supports adding armed guards to schools to stop intruders in their tracks. Armed guards cannot stop intruders upon entering because there are too many entrances, bad intentions, and the unexpected element of school attacks. In addition to armed guards, some schools thought about training and giving guns to teachers, which is a bad idea. It is unrealistic to believe that teachers can be trained well enough that a gun in every classroom would make the school a safer place.

Placing armed guards in public schools is a stretch to the argument that they make school a safer place. A better solution is to control the guns on the street now, improve background check systems and, most importantly, to better understand the mental condition of gun users in our own society.