Mississippi public schools have updated policies, allowing for teachers to arm themselves in the classroom if they wish.
As students, parents, and teachers prepare for the coming school year, the question of security practices is once again surfacing. More states are passing laws that allow school staff to carry firearms inside of schools. In order to ease teachers’ burden and ensure the safety of the children in their care Mississippi public schools have updated their gun rules to allow teachers to arm themselves.
There has been much debate over school safety after the deadly Uvalde, Texas shooting which claimed the lives of 19 Robb Elementary school children and two teachers. The details of that incident still haunt many parents today. Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes and stood down for over an hour while children were calling 9-1-1 and begging for help as an armed shooter went around the school seeking victims. At least one of the children killed bled out from wounds that could have been treated if the Uvalde police had taken down the shooter and paramedics were able to tend to the injury sooner. Knowing this, confidence in the police is down. Plenty of teachers are willing to train and arm themselves as a first line of defense in the classroom and now Mississippi public schools have taken the necessary measures to support them in that endeavor.
Under the new policy, the various Mississippi public schools may decide what is best for their community. Each district is allowed to permit or ban guns at its discretion. This clears a pathway for teachers who wish to receive training and arm themselves as a precautionary measure while also affording areas populated with families who are wary of this practice to remain gun-free.
Offering this choice gives Mississippi public schools the right to decide what is best for them. This comes after 2 gun-related incidents recently made headlines. On Saturday, July 16th, an armed robber held a knife to a gas station clerk’s throat in St. Charles, Missouri. A customer witnessed the incident, and as a legal gun owner, approached the intruder. The knifeman rushed at him and the customer shot him. The next day, a mass shooter opened fire at an Indiana mall, but 15 seconds into his killing spree an armed citizen shot him and saved countless lives.
Whether the Mississippi public school policy was updated due to these outcomes or not, the subject of classroom safety is likely to continue well into the fall. Now instead of having to wait for law enforcement and likely be left at the mercy of an armed intruder, teachers can ensure that students will be safe on campus in the event of a mass school shooting. Training requirements and gun safety rules for teachers have yet to be determined but may follow.
Thankfully most school shootings are isolated incidents between limited students. The odds of a teacher having to defend children from an intruder are low. It is a 1 in 10 million chance. Even so, Mississippi public schools are ensuring that safety protocols serve modern needs and give districts the ability to arm educators should they see fit.