Arm Teachers, Says Florida Panel After Reviewing Parkland Shooting
“In an ideal world, we shouldn’t need anyone on campus with a gun, but that’s not the world we live in today. One’s not enough. Two’s not enough. We need multiple people in order to protect the children.”
So said Grady Judd, the sheriff of Polk County, Florida, and a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which has just released a 407-page draft report of what went wrong in Broward County on February when a young man shot and killed 17 people in Parkland.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the state commission is recommending a host of proposals to help make Florida schools safer. Those include stronger security measures, better law enforcement response training, and, most controversially, the arming of well-vetted and well-trained teachers. This last proposal would require the state legislature to implement, and it is certain to be strongly opposed by gun control zealots who continue to believe – against all evidence and reason – that banning firearms from schools will keep these tragedies from occurring.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) kicked off the opposition, saying that teachers did not sign on for this kind of responsibility.
“Teachers want to teach, not be armed for combat in their classrooms,” Deutch said. “Law enforcement cannot push their responsibilities to make our communities safer on to civilians that should be focused on educating their students.”
There’s truth to that statement. But no one’s arguing that police should abdicate responsibility, and no one’s denying the fact that most teachers have no interest (or business) packing heat in the classroom. But there are some who are well-qualified, and if we had a handful of them in every school, it would act as both a deterrent and a strong security measure in the event that one of these psychos turns up with an AR-15.
As for the cops – well, the commission’s report shows exactly why it’s not always the best idea to wait around for the boys in blue to show up and save the day.
The Sun-Sentinel reports:
The panel is recommending that the Broward Sheriff’s Office conduct an internal review of the performance of seven deputies who heard shots and failed to take steps to engage the shooter.
Deputies spent time retrieving ballistic vests and other equipment instead of rushing to confront the shooter, the report states.
That conduct was “unacceptable and contrary to accepted protocol under which the deputies should have immediately moved towards the gunshots to confront the shooter,” the report concluded.
That’s not meant as a knock on police. Nor even is it meant as a criticism of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office as a whole. But the fact remains that the specific police in this specific situation could have done (a lot) more to put an end to this tragedy before it spiraled into one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. But what if just one heroic teacher inside Stoneman Douglas had been armed? Could he have saved even a single life that day? Wouldn’t that have been worth it?
The prospect of arming teachers is a chilling one to many Americans, and we’re not puzzled as to why. But the fact is, these wretched events keep happening. Are we going to take the measures necessary to protect our kids or aren’t we?