Majority Of Texas Teachers Say They Don’t Want To Be Armed
A recent poll found that the majority of Texas teachers are opposed to being armed inside classrooms following the Uvalde massacre.
In the wake of the deadly school shooting inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, there has been a growing cry from some Americans to arm teachers within the classrooms as a means to improve school safety. Under law, Texas teachers already had the ability to conceal carry on campuses under some circumstances. But while some claim it’s an idea most educators are for, a new survey counters that notion, saying that the majority of teachers in the Lone Star State don’t want to be armed in the classroom.
The New York Post shared the news that a recent poll conducted by the Texas American Federation of Teachers found that a whopping 77% of Texas teachers said they did not want to be armed after the Uvalde school massacre. In releasing this finding, the union’s president, Zeph Capo, released a statement, iterating that school staff shouldn’t be required to act as police, furthering his sentiments by saying it would put more students at risk by doing so.
Additionally, the Texas teachers union survey found that a shocking 90% of respondents feared their own school might suffer a deadly attack following the atrocities that took place in Uvalde, Texas, leading to the deaths of 19 young children and two teachers. On top of that, nearly every single school staff member that participated in the poll said that they approved of sweeping gun control measures. 99% backed “comprehensive background checks” for all firearm sales. Likewise, 98% supported red flag laws, 96% were in favor of increasing age limits to purchase guns, and even 83% supported a complete assault-weapon ban.
As for these gun control questions imposed on Texas teachers, they mirrored an extensive gun control package that just passed the federal House chambers yesterday morning. If enacted, it would raise the age limit for the purchase of semi-automatic firearms from 18-21. It would also create a federal-level red flag law to allow federal courts to block the sale of guns to anyone deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Even more alarming, the poll asked the Texas teachers about how the recent shooting may affect their chances of returning to the classroom next year. Nearly half of them responded that they might not come back to work in the fall. This finding is likely alarming many education officials, as Texas is already in the middle of a massive teacher shortage.
Texas has long enacted a program to arm teachers in classrooms. It is a school marshall program that must be approved first by the school district before teachers can participate. For those with approval, teachers undergo hours of training before being allowed to carry inside schools. But furthering the support for these findings in the Texas teacher survey, the Texas Tribune reports that not many school districts in the state have opted into the program. Furthermore, only 361 teachers are currently licensed in the state to carry weapons in schools. Currently, the state has about 369,000 school teachers.
Despite apparent pushback, more and more states are considering laws to allow teachers to carry guns inside public schools like Texas teachers currently can in some instances. Swiftly passing law after the events in Uvalde, Ohio last week passed a bill to allow teachers to carry guns in the classroom under a similar program. Whether or not arming teachers will make a difference in the perpetually growing occurrences of school shootings in America, is yet to be seen.