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.
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.”