By Logan Dziadzio, Opinions Editor
Schools today are faced with more and more violence as the rate of school shootings has increased. Schools have become less safe for students and need to be protected. The solution: installing armed security guards in schools.
Having an armed police officer gives the impression that the school is being watched and is prepared in the case of an intruder or the occurrence of general violence. On March 29, 2018, the Associated Press reported that Ronald Stephens, the executive director of the National School Safety Council, believes having a trained armed officer in schools could even fend off possible shooters. Just having an armed officer may stop school shootings before they even start.
Furthermore, many experts believe that the presence of an armed officer would have a more positive affect than many critics are leading on. That same AP article quoted the executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers Mo Canady saying, “There needs to be at least one [armed security officer] in every school in the country. Every school could benefit from one.” The point of the officer is not to constantly wield the gun but to just prepare the school for the worst scenarios.
The addition of an armed officer would instill a healthy fear among students or outsiders when contemplating the act of violence. Obviously, the gun would not be wielded unless an actual armed threat is prevalent. The presence of an armed officer could stop students from bringing in their own weapons or starting fights just for the sake of being violent. The officer would also be useful in the event of smaller scale acts of violence within schools; having someone there trained to break up fights could reduce physical bullying.
The security guard would be a police officer or an ex-police officer who has been trained in using the gun and protecting others with it. As there are some critics to the solution of arming security guards in schools across the country, the addition of a specific procedure needed to be followed by the guard in the event of an intruder may make the solution more appealing and effective. There was an armed school resource officer on the scene of the Parkland, Florida school shooting who did not come to the aid of students or try to confront the shooter but hid with students. Having an exact procedure to follow can help in lowering the number of school shootings and avoid as many student casualties as possible.
During a Maryland school shooting at Great Mills High School, Blaine Gaskill, an armed school resource officer, was present. He had a different reaction to the gunshots and had a much better outcome than that of the Parkland deputy. Gaskill was able to rush the shooter and prevented the possible deaths of students. In the end, only two students were injured, and Baskill’s quick response was greatly successful in contrast to the school resource officer at the Parkland school.
Overall, arming security guards in schools is necessary in keeping students safe. The presence of the officer would discourage fighting and bullying, deter possible intruders from attacking and has successfully stopped school shootings before any casualties.