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Teachers Get Firearms Training in Push by Pro-Gun Advocates

Republicans and gun-rights advocates are pushing for teachers to be trained and armed with firearms amid a spike in school shootings, the New York Times reports. At least 29 states allow individuals other than police and security officers to carry guns on school property. In 2018, reports estimated that 2.6 percent of school faculty carry firearms. A program for arming school faculty began in Florida after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018. Over 1,300 school staff in Florida are armed in 45 out of 74 state school districts. In Texas, nearly one-third of state school districts -- 402 --participate in programs that allow school staff to be armed.

These programs are strongly opposed by Democrats, police groups, teachers’ unions and gun control advocates. They believe that having more guns in schools create more risk. Research on the effects of guns in schools is limited. There is little evidence that arming teachers is effective. There is also little evidence that school resource officers have a major impact in preventing shootings. Of the five deadliest school shootings, four have occurred in the past 10 years, in Newtown, Ct., Uvalde and Santa Fe, Tx., and Parkland, Fl. Carrying guns in schools has become more common in rural areas, where police response time may be longer. Many gun-rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, argue that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”