As the controversy over arming teachers in schools continues to be a heated debate, one of the nation’s top gun rights organizations is reporting that more teachers are applying for gun training.
In last week’s edition of the AmNews, the Buckeye Firearms Association out of Ohio reported 600 teachers across the nation have applied for free firearms training. Since our story ran, the number has increased to nearly 1,050.
“We are receiving more requests every day,” the association said in a statement. “Most are from Ohio, but many requests are from other states. This training will focus primarily on an armed response to an ‘active killer’ scenario, but we may also offer additional instruction on medical trauma care, mindset, general school security, etc.”
The association added that based on the applicants, about 60 percent are men and 40 percent are women. More than 70 percent are teachers, 14 percent are administrators and the rest are office staff and other employees. About 85 percent work in public schools and over 50 percent work in high schools. Distribution among urban, suburban and rural schools is fairly even. No record of the racial makeup of the teachers was reported.
Reports indicate that it’s not just teachers who are receiving guns but non-academic staff as well. In Montpelier, Ohio, the school board approved arming janitors with guns last week. However, NYU professor of education and urban sociologist Dr. Pedro Noguera said the idea of teachers being armed in schools is “silly” and “stupid.” Noguera specializes in the education of students of color, particularly young Black and Latino males.
“Without very serious training, it’s dangerous to arm teachers,” he said. “Students could take the weapon and a number of complications could come up. I don’t think that’s the [right] direction. I think there are a number of teachers who are afraid of the students they serve, and you don’t want to bring weapons to school. However, security is necessary.”
As mentioned in our story last week, a vast number of the nation’s educators are white women, and Noguera pointed out that even the slightest, harmless act, like horseplay for example, could be deemed threatening in the eyes of a white female teacher. Noguera also pointed out the need for more cultural training for teachers.
“As a student gets larger, that alone can be seen as intimidating. The truth is, we are all vulnerable any place where lots of people are present. We have to examine what do we do to reduce our vulnerability and build a social safety net to have the sense of community. We also have to figure out how to make sure people are getting mental help,” he said.