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NASRO Announces Opposition to Arming Teachers

The group recommends significant federal, state and local funding to place at least one specially trained school resource officer in each American school.

NASRO Announces Opposition to Arming Teachers

NASRO recommends no firearms be on school campuses except for those carried by trained school resource officers.

The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), an organization that trains school police officers, has announced its opposition to the arming of teachers in American schools.

The group strongly recommends no firearms be on a school campus except for those carried by carefully selected and specially trained school resource officers.

In yesterday’s announcement, the group gave several reasons as to why it is opposed to the arming of teachers, including:

  • Responding law enforcement officers may mistake an armed teacher or any non-uniformed person with a weapon as an assailant.
  • Teachers who have not received extensive training, like that given to law enforcement officers, will likely be unprepared to take a life, especially if the assailant is a student.
  • Since firearm skills reduce rapidly, most law enforcement agencies require officers to frequently practice on a shooting range under simulated and high-stress conditions. An armed person without such frequent training will likely have difficulty using a firearm properly and effectively.
  • Firing a weapon in a crowded school is extremely risky and may lead to the wounding or death of innocent people. Law enforcement officers receive training to evaluate the risks of firing and hold their fire when the potential of causing harm to others is high.

Instead, the group recommends ample federal, state and local funding to place at least one specially trained school resource officer in each school in the U.S. It also recommends that larger schools be provided with more than one SRO.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where last week’s devastating shooting took place, is one of the largest in Broward County, serving 3,000 students in grades 9 through 12. This Parkland, Fla., school had one armed school resource officer for the entire campus. Sheriff Scott Israel announced on Thursday that the school’s resource officer, Scot Peterson, has resigned after video footage shows he waited to enter the building until four minutes after gunshots began.

Lieutenant John Weinstein, the commander of Northern Virginia Community College Public Safety District 3, agrees with NASRO’s stance. While having no experience in the K-12 realm of arming teachers, Weinstein has developed a surprising opinion to arming faculty on college campuses.

Weinstein, a self-proclaimed “gun guy” who strongly encourages concealed carry licenses, says although there are several potential benefits to arming teachers, there are also significant liabilities.

“However, despite my inclination to support the idea, something nagged at me. It occurred to me there is a significant difference between an individual citizen acting to defend himself and that citizen assuming an official role, blessed by a government agency to, in effect, assume police responsibilities,” he said.

In 2015, Weinstein was asked by a friend to observe a church security team going through their active shooter response drills. All members of the team were CCP holders and the majority were military combat veterans who trained regularly at shooting ranges.

During various scenarios, innocent civilians and responding officers were shot. Weinstein witnessed team members crossing in front of other members’ aimed weapons.

“Upon observing the team’s performance in these straightforward scenarios, my opinion changed on the desirability of an institution endorsing armed CCP holders in classes to deter and, if deterrence fails, respond to an active shooter on campus,” said Weinstein. “Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the possession of a CCP and even firearms training received by many in the military do not ensure the ability to appropriately use firearms to protect life and limb in a college setting.”

About the Author

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Amy Rock is the Campus Safety Web Editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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One response to “NASRO Announces Opposition to Arming Teachers”

  1. james rice says:

    Teachers should not be armed. There are huge questions that have not been considered. Who will insure the teachers who are armed. The issue of weapon use is not covered currently by school insurance. (Most cops buy personal liability insurance to protect themselves at their own expense-will teachers who are already underpaid?) Who will train them, to what standard and how often if at all will they be required to re-qualify? What kind of gun? Revolver, semi-auto, shotgun, AR-15? Where and how will it be stored? During class will it be locked up or will teachers be required to have it in a holster on their person? If that’s true, who will pay for the clothes-sounds silly but most women’s fashions do not utilize a heavy enough belt to hold a holster and 3+ pound handgun. What kind of ammo? Several states have specific laws about what is considered legal or illegal. (New Jersey bans everything except military style ball ammo in handguns and has since the Geneva Convention post WWI !) The list is endless. Not a good, viable or a cost-effective solution. Better to train and deploy cops to the schools who already have all of these issues answered. The make sure that the cops know that they are there for 1 reason and 1 reason only-security of the school. They are not truant officers or there to help the principal enforce the school cellphone ban!

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