The Dublin Shield

DHS Students and Staff Opinions on Gun Regulation and School Safety

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DHS Students and Staff Opinions on Gun Regulation and School Safety

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On Wednesday, February 14th, the United States of America faced another horrifying shooting at one of our schools: Stoneman Douglas High School. There were 17 students murdered by an on-campus shooter at the age of 18 who bought guns to do this. This shooting inspired hundreds of students to take action against the increased number of shootings that have happened over the past year. Students of all ages have begun to petition and fight with their words to convince politicians about the dangers of assault weapons and semiautomatic weapons that can be bought by anyone at or above the age of 18. As time has passed, the amount of conversation about gun control and how we must defend our schools has reached an all-time high. Many staff members have begun discussing what would be the best ways to defend their students. Some students feel less safe in school after the tragedy that has happened, in fear of shooters coming to their school. And this is no different for the students and staff of Dublin High School.

 

DHS Opinions

When it came to the students and staff of Dublin High, the majority agreed on the current major topics. In 2 separate anonymous surveys for a sample of DHS students and the DHS staff, the students and staff were asked a variety of questions pertaining to the topic of gun control and school safety.

 

Do you believe that staff should be allowed to carry guns to school? Explain why?

The majority of both students and staff believed that guns cannot be brought to DHS whatsoever. 84% of a sample of students and 81% of staff members from DHS believed that guns cannot be brought to DHS.

 

The arguments that the sample of students made included that guns on campus make it an unsafe learning and working environment for teachers and students, and that staff members can become just as mentally unstable as students. One student stated plainly that, “Guns have no place in a learning environment. School is meant to be a safe space for students to learn and grow as individuals. The very presence of guns is a damper on that spirit. It is also impractical to keep around as it makes it even easier for a student to potentially steal [and use].” Students against guns on campus also worry about how this plan can violate their own well-being. Another student worried that, “It will just cause more chaos. While teachers at that moment might try to use for defense, it will be a critical situation and possibly other students can get accidentally shot while the teacher tries to target the shooter.” Meanwhile, the students who believe that trained staff members should be allowed to carry guns support it because of the general delay for emergency services and police to arrive, and how immediate action can be taken by staff who are carrying guns. Another DHS student confidently stated that, “If there ever is a shooter or a dangerous person on campus, having TRAINED armed teachers would definitely be able to protect students and others. We would need to make sure that whichever teachers end up being armed can act and make good decisions under pressure and can properly use a gun.”

Staff members share similar perspectives, with the majority of teachers stating that “Teachers are not police officers” and that “More guns is not the answer”. An anonymous teacher boldly responded that, “You don’t fight violence with violence. You don’t fight ignorance with ignorance. We need less guns in circulation, stricter laws and regulations for gun owners, and more mental health/empathy education!” Some teachers argue that carrying a gun to school is not why they chose to teach, and that guns should be left to law enforcement or professionals. But people who believe that guns should be on campus turn to a different route. Heightened police presence, SRO (school resource officers) officers, designated staff or personnel with the purpose of defending the school and other suggestions were offered in this survey. In fact, 90.5% of staff believe a designated SRO officer on campus should be on campus everyday, which is understandable considering the majority of staff responses included that they were reluctant or did not want to take any part in defending students with guns.

 

Do you believe allowing staff to bring guns to school can INCREASE or DECREASE the risk of students being hurt by either side of a potential shoot-out?

 

Overall, 80% of the sample of students believe that allowing staff, trained or otherwise, to bring guns to school will increase the risk of students being hurt by either side of a potential shoot-out. About 13% believe that it can increase or decrease depending on the situation or it will decrease, and the remainder believe that it will decrease. But when it comes to staff members, the numbers are much different. Approximately 70% of staff strongly believe that if staff members brought guns to school, it will increase the risk of students being hurt. Some even wrote that regardless of a shoot-out, it increased the risk of students being harmed. But the remaining 30% is where staff responses begin to show sharp differences in thinking. The main statements that were said by the remaining staff responses were: both, decrease, no answer, I don’t know, not sure, or no difference in the student risk. ‘Both’ and ‘decrease’ were much more prevalent in the staff survey than in the student survey, which was the biggest difference between the student and staff opinions.

 

Do you feel safe entering our school campus,  in light of recent events?

 

Currently, 46% of the staff feel safe entering our campus, 20.6% do not feel safe entering campus, and 20.6% are not sure, and the remainder have varying thoughts about how safe they feel, varying from being more cautious when entering the campus to a teacher never feeling safe whatsoever on campus. One teacher’s opinion about their safety on school was “Most of the time I do, however the thought of an active shooter, angry student, or any person entering our campus is always in the back of my mind.”

 

For students, about 40% of the sample of students feel safe entering school campus, 25.8% do not feel safe entering campus, 22.6% are not sure about how they feel entering campus, and the remainder of students have some mixed emotions in which part of the student wants to enter campus, but they are wary of what can possibly happen during school hours, at anytime or any place on campus.

 

Overview

In the end, both of our students and staff agree that having educators/teachers carry guns on campus is counterproductive towards what the goal of being a teacher is. The majority of teachers have a strong agreement in having an SRO officer or a trained professional on campus who can keep students and staff safe from external or internal threats. And while the Second Amendment allows people in American at or over the age of 18 to carry a firearm, the majority of students and staff agree that, while this amendment is important, it does not mean we cannot regulate the age restriction and the type of weapon that can be bought in America, like semiautomatic and automatic weapons.

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About the Writer
Vikram Nithyanandam, World Editor



Vikram Nithyanandam is a student of the class of 2019. He loves to write articles on current issues and world news related to any political or economic...

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