That’s the question asked in a Dallas Morning News editorial today, regarding the recent decision by the Harrold school district to allow teachers to carry guns in school. This is a typically Texas issue. I doubt there are too many other states where such a matter would even be considered, much less approved. I think this is just asking for trouble. What do you think? Here’s the editorial:
Don’t mess with teachers in the tiny Texas town of Harrold. They may be packing heat.
An ill-conceived policy adopted by this community’s school district allows teachers to carry their concealed firearms in the classroom.
Handguns and kids – what could possibly go wrong?
While Texans certainly are within their rights to carry licensed weapons nearly everywhere, schools are among the few safe havens where guns simply have no place.
Harrold’s superintendent has blamed deadly campus rampages on government efforts to make schools gun-free zones. And he’s suggested scenarios that include heroic, gun-toting teachers thwarting armed intruders or defusing hostage situations.
Setting aside any debate about the looming dangers in Harrold (population 320), the school district should consider other options for protecting students. Hiring a security guard, locking school buildings or installing metal detectors would help ensure safety.
Counting on teachers to double as police officers and hostage negotiators is a dangerous gamble.
Regrettably, Gov. Rick Perry endorses Harrold’s policy, saying he’s “a fan” of allowing registered gun owners to bring weapons to school. The governor is nothing if not consistent on right-to-carry issues. He has advocated allowing licensed gun owners to carry their weapons on college campuses, in churches and at bars.
But this practice fails the common-sense test, as does Mr. Perry’s contention that many lives would have been saved if weapons had been permitted on campuses.
Injecting firearms into a school setting opens the door to tragic but avoidable accidents. And there are no certain safeguards to prevent an angry student – or teacher – from getting hold of a gun that was carried into the classroom.
Parents depend on educators to provide a safe learning environment for their children. Allowing teachers to be armed and potentially dangerous is a frightening prospect.
While school districts should make such decisions locally, this community near Wichita Falls is courting disaster. Harrold teachers should return their attention to reading and writing – and leave the revolvers at home.