Here is why one Arizona official thinks arming teachers is a bad idea
PHOENIX — In the wake of the latest mass school shooting in Florida, many lawmakers — including President Donald Trump — have raised the possibility of arming teachers to keep schools safe.
But one Arizona official said that would not be a good, smart or helpful idea.
Kevin Quinn, the president of the Arizona School Resource Officers Association, told KTAR News 92.3’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes there are a “plethora” of issues that can arise from having armed civilians on campus during critical incidents.
Quinn, who used to head the national school resource officers association, said when officers are called to the scene of an active shooting, the first thing they are looking for is someone running around with a gun who is not in a police uniform.
If police spot a teacher in plain clothes armed with a gun, the “confusing and dynamic” situation could lead officers to believe that the teacher is the active shooter — making for a potentially deadly situation.
“The chances of something bad happening increases exponentially,” Quinn said.
Quinn added that it is not as easy as handing a teacher a gun, showing them how to fire it and letting them be on their way. Teachers need to be taught how to get into the mindset of handling a weapon, as well as how to carry it properly under their everyday clothes.
“There’s a lot more to carrying a gun everyday than, ‘”Oh, I’ll just un-tuck my T-shirt,'” Quinn said.
“Teachers shouldn’t have to wear two hats,” he added. “Their job is to teach children.”
Instead of arming teachers, Quinn argued, local law enforcement and school districts should work together to determine how many officers need to patrol each school.
“They need to put properly-selected, properly-trained school resource officers in each school in the U.S.,” he said.
School resource officers work for the local police department, but are assigned to specific schools in the area. Quinn said, nationally, less than 20 percent of schools have school resource officers on campus.
The cost of assigning a school resource officer to a campus is based on how much it costs to pay police officers, but some schools do pay extra for that protection.