What If Trump’s Serious About Arming Teachers?

You call this professional development?

Photographer: George Frey/Getty Images

It’s hard to know if President Donald Trump’s plan to arm teachers is a real proposal or just noise to obscure his hapless response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The idea of “firearms training for school personnel” is on a White House list of measures that patently falls short of being an actual policy to prevent shootings at schools or anywhere else. As if to confirm its pointlessness, the plan even includes that classic Washington side-step — a blue-ribbon commission to look into it all.

One can only hope that the idea does indeed come to nothing.  

A Gallup poll released last week found 73 percent of U.S. teachers opposed to arming teachers and school staff. A majority of Americans agrees with the teachers, according to a recent NBC News/Survey Monkey poll. The history of guns in classrooms confirms that they're right. In Northern California last week, a teacher who is also a reserve officer in his local police force was conducting a public safety class when his gun discharged accidentally, injuring a student. Last month, a social studies teacher in Georgia barricaded himself in a classroom and then fired a gun out the window. Last year, another Georgia teacher shot himself in class. In 2014, an elementary school teacher in Utah accidentally shot herself in the leg while using the faculty restroom.

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