Questioning Security After Sandy Hook Shooting


Courtesy of Ms. Halter

While in the U.S. Army during her early twenties, Ms. Halter, English teacher, carried an M-60 machine gun in (what was then) West Germany. Halter worked in the military police. She does not believe teachers should be forced to arm themselves.

Christine Politte, Staff Writer

Since the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 20 students and six teachers, heated debate has sprung up across America.

Both sides agree that future tragedies like the one in Newtown must be prevented, but they agree on little else. While some call for new restrictions on guns or even outright bans, others say the only way to end the violence is to loosen gun laws and allow them into schools. Some schools are even arming teachers.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, a vice president of the National Rifle Association, according to the New York Times.

At U. City High, however, most teachers disagree.

“Teachers carrying guns is not the answer,” said Mr. Cloud, math teacher. “No one could have prevented what happened in Connecticut… Schools across the nation need to remain level-headed and only make decisions that they have control over.”

Ms. Martineau, English teacher, agrees.

“This is not the Wild West,” she said. “…I just feel the presence of guns would ruin the nurturing atmospheres of schools.”

Mr. Kelton, math teacher, is concerned about the implications of having a gun with him.

“Where are we supposed to keep our guns?” he said. “What happens…if someone takes the gun from me?” Even if it’s deemed a good idea, he said, important logistics still need to be worked out.

Likewise, the consensus among the students appears to be that guns don’t belong in the classroom.

“I would not feel safe,” said Deanna Smith, junior. “So much could go wrong.”

Arreon Watson, junior, agrees.

“Teachers aren’t trained to do all that stuff,” he said. “Teachers should be trained to talk down an intruder,” he said, instead of using guns.

However, some students would find it reassuring to know their teachers were armed.

“It’s a good idea,” said Jaylen Williams, freshman. “I wouldn’t have to worry about anybody coming to shoot us.”

Ms. Halter, English teacher, says she’d be willing to carry a gun if necessary.

“I’d be very comfortable with that, but… I’ve been trained in using a firearm and concealed carry,” Halter said. “I can understand why a lot of teachers wouldn’t be comfortable… I don’t think it should be anything forced on teachers.”

If an intruder came into the school, teachers agree the safety of their students would come first.

“[I would] try to follow lockdown procedures as is and keep the kids as calm as possible,” Cloud said. “[I’d] try to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

If worst came to worst, Halter said, she would try to convince a gunman to let her students go and keep her there.

“I think that’s the role of the teacher,” she said. “And if he was determined to shoot, he’d just have to shoot me first.”