Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remember that mean, unbalanced teacher? What if there had been a gun in his/her desk? And what about the klutz on the faculty?

If the klutz accidentally shoots your kid, she'll probably want to apologize. If the hostile, unhinged teacher shoots your kid, there might not be any apology. In fact, the school's lawyers would probably instruct both teachers not to apologize.

I've been harping on the need for meaningful teacher evaluations just because we need to empower effective teachers and help weak teachers.

But if teachers are going to be carrying guns, we're really going to have to get serious about evaluating teachers. Mentally-unhinged teachers won't just be a joke anymore.

Do guns belong in the hands of teachers? The debate is renewed
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Sept. 11 2014

...Westbrook Elementary School in Taylorsville on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. A teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg, while alone in a faculty bathroom, shortly before school started.

SALT LAKE CITY — On Thursday, a Westbrook Elementary School teacher with a concealed carry permit became an accidental victim of her own handgun, rekindling the debate over guns in schools.

While the teacher, who was in the faculty restroom of the Taylorsville school when the gun went off, recovers from a wound to the leg, community members weighed in on the merits of armed educators...

Beh said a four- or eight-hour training class isn't enough for a teacher to know how to react in an active shooter situation. He said military personnel or police officers are the only ones he could imagine handling a crisis with a gun, and even they can make mistakes...

Utah is unique among states in that school districts and charter schools must allow employees, including teachers, to carry guns under the state's concealed weapons permit law. The firearms must remain hidden and in their possession.

A Dan Jones & Associates poll for the Exoro Group in January 2013 found 59 percent of Utahns favor allowing full-time school employees to carry guns...

The Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah has long been concerned about accidental shootings and lack of training among concealed weapons permit holders, who aren't required to show proficiency with a gun to get the license.

"I think you have to balance the danger to the school and individuals against the likelihood that the guns might be used to protect innocent people. I think when you apply that balancing act, you conclude that bringing guns into schools is simply not justifiable," said Steve Gunn, who serves on the center's board of directors...

The 2013 Jones poll showed 82 percent of Utahns believed parents have a right to know if the child's teacher is carrying a concealed weapon. But state law prohibits that. A bill in the Utah Legislature last year to allow parents to get that information didn't go anywhere...

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