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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

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Protecting education, not firearms: Why guns have no role in schools

Pleasant+Valley+students+become+a+possible+target+for+gun+violence+after+new+bill+passes.
Katelyn Morris
Pleasant Valley students become a possible target for gun violence after new bill passes.

Iowa politicians passed House File 2586 on February 28, stirring controversy amongst students. The bill aims to increase security in grade schools across Iowa, but its outcome might be just the opposite.

House File 2586 established the School Security Personnel Grant Program to be administered by the Department of Education. This program requires security personnel to be present in larger school districts in high school buildings. The Bill also authorizes school employees to carry firearms on school property with professional permits.

House File 2652 plans to extend the effects of the bill passed in February.

File 2652 provides schools with financial resources to implement various safety measures in schools. The bill passed earlier in the year outlines the ability to train school staff on firearms and that such training would allow for teachers and staff to carry weapons in the classroom.

Passed in March, File 2652 created a three million dollar grant program that would help fund the purchasing of firearms and the training of teachers in schools across Iowa, making the possibility of guns in classrooms very accessible.

But putting the source of destruction in the classroom setting is not the answer schools seek.

Junior Ryan Pottratz shared his concerns regarding the new bills. “It makes me feel unsafe. [The guns] will be at a more ready place to grab,” he said.

Senior Shreya Vijay has a similar opinion. “I feel unsafe if anyone has a gun in a school, not necessarily just a teacher. People go through crazy moods and anything could happen.” she said.

School shootings are often unpredictable, and a greater number of guns doesn’t resolve this. Family members of the Perry High School gunman have shared that they had no inkling the shooter had plans or was even capable of such an act.

Tragedies such as these have little to no warnings, and the risk of making firearms possibly available to violent students or even violent teachers is not worth the lives of students and educators.“I get why they want teachers to have guns in school, but I feel that it will hurt more than it will help.” Pottratz noted.

There is also an added layer of complexity when considering the introduction of liability risks.

State Law Enforcement Officers receive on average 168 hours of firearm training just at the recruitment level. A 2010 study from the National Library of Medicine showed that even highly trained officers perform worse with hand-guns in high stress environments. Putting this additional pressure on teachers could result in compounding incidents in emergency situations.

Additionally, these factors could cause a decline in the number of available teachers as the job may lose appeal. The profession has fallen between 20-40% percent in the last decade, and increased risk factors could cause an even larger decline.

Junior Brooke Yulga plans on going into the field of education, and she shared her apprehension entering the profession.

“Being responsible for a person’s education is already so scary, but being responsible for their lives is beyond what I expected. The idea of teachers having guns almost makes me reconsider what I want to do in life,” she said.

The American Federation of Teachers and The National Education Association both propose schools adopt evidence-based prevention and intervention plans. These plans aim to support mental health programs in schools and communities, implementing extreme risk laws, establishing threat assessment programs, increasing basic security equipment and much more.

Putting guns in a classroom setting is only a passive action that merely reacts to a threat of real danger. Safer schools start with active plans to prevent threats.

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About the Contributor
Katelyn Morris, Arts and Entertainment Editor, News Editor
Katelyn is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and is serving as the section editor of the Arts and Entertainment and News sections. Outside of school she enjoys theatre, art, and shopping. Katelyn loves spending way too much time away from home and never gets enough sleep. She plans on pursuing a degree in music education after high school.
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    EllaMar 31, 2024 at 11:28 pm

    This is a wonderful article that highlights the fear of students who will be heading into the academic/education field. It also breaks down the bill and what it means for students and teachers alike.

    Reply
  • K

    Kaleigh McGrathMar 31, 2024 at 10:19 pm

    I completely agree. Allowing staff to carry guns in school just opens more doors for possible threats or accidents waiting to happen. It is terrifying.

    Reply