West Virginia News

Teacher and an officer weigh in on arming teachers debate

WEST VIRGINIA (WVNS)— Arming teachers is a topic of national conversation and now a local teacher and a law enforcement officer are giving their opinions. 

"You go in every morning and you don't know what you're going to get," said Sandy Shaw, Woodrow Wilson High School teacher. 

According to CNN, 20 school shootings have taken place since the start of the year.

"They're really scared. The students today have so much anxiety. Society is so violent and these kids see it on a daily basis," said Shaw.

Now elected officials are trying to come up with a solution to combat the increasing rate of gun violence in schools. President Donald Trump started the conversation on arming teachers after the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018.

Shaw said she doesn't think giving her a gun is the answer.

"I think it sets us up for possible lawsuits. For accidents that would be tragic and I think puts the law into the hands of ordinary citizens and turns us into a police state."

Local law enforcement are concerned arming teachers will only escalate the problem.

"You have a school shooting it's major chaos. As a first responder you get to the scene and you have kids passing by you- who's the bad guy, who's the suspect," said Chief Deputy Rod Perdue, deputy with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. 

Chief Deputy Rod Perdue adds giving a teacher a gun and asking her to shield her students is asking too much.

"They're mentors, they're educators, they're social workers. They go home and grade tests and then have to worry about carrying a gun," said Chief Deputy Perdue.

Surrounding states are already arming teachers with guns. Madison Local School District in Ohio voted on April 24, 2018 to allow teachers and staff to carry weapons. This is in response to a shooting at a school in the district where at 14 year old boy shot and wounded two of his classmates.

Shaw says she may be opposed to carrying a gun but teachers she works with are not. 

"I have a friend who said absolutely I would carry a gun. She feels very strongly she would carry a gun. She feels like she would face it head one and hit her mark and protect me and my students because I don't want to carry a gun."

Both Shaw and Chief Deputy Perdue believe the best step would be to have an officer in every school in the country. 


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