Corcoran’s “Colossally Stupid” Plan to Arm Teachers Will Make Schools Less Safe

Republicans and Democrats Agree Arming Teachers don’t make schools safer
TALLAHASSEE – Less than two weeks after the Parkland shooting, Florida Republicans are playing politics with public safety and embracing one of Donald Trump’s most widely derided proposals to reduce gun violence.
On Friday, Republicans in the legislature — led by Speaker Richard Corcoran — decided to ignore the warnings of Parkland students, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, public health experts, law enforcement, and teachers by pushing for a proposal to arm Florida’s teachers. It’s a “colossally stupid idea” that Donald Trump loves and everyone else believes will make our schools less safe.
Richard Corcoran -Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives wants to arm teachers
Richard Corcoran – Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

Here are the elected officials, law enforcement officers, educators, and gun safety advocates who have spoken out against Richard Corcoran and Donald Trump’s plan to arm teachers:

  • Senator Rene Garcia: “I’m OK with using retired law enforcement or retired military, obviously with the right training and credentials, to make sure we secure our schools. But having our teachers to be armed, I don’t think that’s the right approach.” [Orlando Weekly, 2/24/18]
  • House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz: “They do not address the fact that weapons of war will still be available and legislative leaders are still calling for the arming of teachers in classrooms across the state. These measures backed by the gun lobby are unacceptable.” [@RepJanetCruz, 2/23/18]
  • Senator Linda Stewart: “I certainly won’t go back to my constituents to tell them disingenuously, that a bill the puts more guns in schools is the best we could do. Asking teachers to focus on anything other than teach is the wrong approach.” [@CHeathWFTV, 2/23/18]
  • Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho: “Not on my watch will we ever support the idea of arming teachers with guns in our classrooms. They are armed with inspiration, they instruct, they lead, and they have a right to do it safely without being the ones tasked with guaranteeing it for everyone else.” [@MiamiSup, 2/22/18]
  • Luke Flynt, Secretary-Treasurer of the Florida Education Association: “They [Florida teachers] do not want to be armed with guns, no. They want to be armed with the tools to do their jobs.” [Miami Herald, 2/22/18]
  • Sharon Nesvig, Spokeswoman, Florida Education Association: “More guns on campus will create more problems.” [Orlando Weekly, 2/24/18]
  • Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence: “We are strongly opposed to any arming of teachers. They do not have the tactical training to respond to an active shooter, nor should they be expected to undergo such training.” [Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, 2/23/18]
  • Angie Gallo, Legislation Chair, Florida PTA: “The Florida PTA believes the safest day-to-day school climate to be gun-free. Only actively trained law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry guns on our school campuses. Our sole purpose should be to educate our youth.” [Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Press Release, 2/23/18]
  • Alfonso Calderon, Parkland Student: “I don’t know if Donald Trump has ever been to a public high school, but as far as I’m aware, teachers are meant to be educators. They’re meant to teach young minds how to work in the real world. They are not meant to know how to carry AR-15s. They are not meant to know how to put on Kevlar vests for the other students or themselves.” [CNN, 2/22/2018]
  • Senator Marco Rubio: “The notion that my kids are going to school with teachers that are armed with a weapon is not something that, quite frankly, I’m comfortable with.” [CNN Town Hall, 2/21/2018]
  • Congressman Ted Deutch: “The shift to arming teachers is a distraction.” [Politico, 2/25/18]
  • Avery Gardiner, Co-President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: “If having more guns in more places made Americans safer, then we would have the lowest rates of gun violence in any developed country in the world, and the exact opposite is true. […] There could be instances of real confusion that would lead to tragedy if we had more guns in more classrooms. What about the time the teacher accidentally leaves the gun unlocked in the desk drawer, and it’s picked up by a student? Think about the burden on schools to make sure the teachers are safe to carry guns. Who’s doing that checking and monitoring and retraining?” [NBC News, 2/23/18]
  • Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association: “Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence. Our students need more books, art and music programs, nurses and school counselors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms.” [Huffington Post, 2/22/18]
  • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT): “How would arming teachers even work? Would kindergarten teachers be carrying guns in holsters? Is every classroom now going to have a gun closet? Will it be locked? When you have seconds to act when you hear the code for an active shooter, is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety? Anyone who pushes arming teachers doesn’t understand teachers and doesn’t understand our schools. Adding more guns to schools may create an illusion of safety, but in reality it would make our classrooms less safe.” [American Federation of Teachers, 2/22/18]
  • National Association of School Resource Officers: “The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), an organization that trains school police officers […] strongly recommends no firearms be on a school campus except for those carried by carefully selected and specially trained school resource officers.” [Campus Safety Magazine, 2/23/18]
  • Violence Policy Center: “Arming teachers presents a unique set of risks to students and faculty. The arguments against arming teachers are multiple. The gun, by definition, would potentially be available to every student, teacher, and school visitor. Moreover, those contemplating armed attacks on schools would know that a gun is available and could act accordingly.” [Violence Policy Center, 2/22/18]
  • Dr. David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy at Harvard School of Public Health: “It’s a crazy proposal.” [NBC News, 2/23/18]

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