You may have seen the news stories leading up to this moment, but it’s official. Hanover School District will now allow teachers and staff to carry guns on campus.
On December 13th, the Hanover School District Board of Education voted 3-2 in favor of permitting qualified teachers to have guns on school campuses.
According to Board President, Mark McPherson, the concept was proposed by a board member from the Hanover School District in June. This board member indicated he felt the need for teachers to have guns due to the far distance of law enforcement, as well as the “potential” trouble from marijuana grows. We should note, though, that the written resolution says in part that the ruling was created “in light of recent events nationally.”
McPherson told Channel 13 News, “There is a desire for a perceived increase in security within the building.” Hanover School District is made up of one elementary school and one middle-high school combination. The school district serves a total of about 245 students, with each school having about 10 teachers.
There is a lot of buzz and questions surrounding this decision.
Some are for it, and others think arming teachers will only perpetuate the risk of a shooting. There is an accessibility issue regarding this ruling; will these teachers have their weapons locked away somewhere safe or holstered to themselves at all times?
Imagine the teachers have the guns locked away for safety and reduced accessibility for students. Will they even have time to reach their weapon in a high-stakes situation? If the guns are holstered to these qualified teachers, will the simple exposure of weapons in school zones further encourage students to bring their own? What would stop a student on the fringe from trying to grab the weapon?
These among several other questions are circulating around this decision.
Obviously there are some details that need to be ironed out when it comes to this ruling. The specification of “qualified teachers” being the ones to have guns is important. Contrary to many-a-facebook arguments assuming the Hanover School District will be handing out guns to all teachers. However, “qualified teachers” specifically means any teacher or staff member with a concealed carrying permit. They can volunteer for extra duty as a security officer at the school. The employee must also complete training before being allowed to bring guns on campus.
The goal is to have this training cover all possible situations and that it is extensive. Incorporating tactical training and even how to defuse these types situations would be ideal. That way, if there IS a case where a student and a teacher are caught in a Mexican standoff… No one has to be carried away with gunshot wounds, or worse.
Because overall that is the ultimate goal. For students to not get shot.