Deseret News
Letter to the editor

The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has once again forced us to evaluate the safety of our children when we send them out the door to simply go to school. As a veteran teacher of 34 years and one who is currently still “in the trenches,” I have strong reservations about the current “call to arms” made by our president.

Studies have shown that law enforcement personnel who regularly practice with their firearms display a high rate of accuracy when at the range, under not-stress conditions and with no gunfire being returned. The accuracy level drops drastically for these trained professionals when in an active situation, where gunfire is being returned. These are those individuals who choose this specific line of work, knowing the dangers and risks involved. Do we really think that arming teachers and hoping for a successful outcome under these same conditions is a realistic expectation?

29 comments on this story

In his recent speech at CPAC, President Trump said if a teacher would have been carrying a concealed firearm when the gunman began firing, “a teacher would have shot … him before he knew what happened.” Really? The weapons used in these horrific events must also be considered. A teacher with a handgun that requires aim and accuracy is no match for a perpetrator who can simply shoot blanket-style with an AR-15. Arming teachers is not the answer. Many of my colleagues have expressed that putting armed teachers in schools would be the last straw for them. In a state already in desperate need of qualified educators, we can’t afford to lose more.

Leslie Joyce