Illinois Association of School Boards barely defeats arming teachers 53% to 47%

18 Nov , 2018  

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, the Illinois Association of School Boards barely defeats arming teachers 53% to 47%.

Members of the Illinois Association of School Boards voted Saturday against a resolution that would give school districts the option to train and arm staff.

The resolution failed 203-179. . . .

The resolution was mostly supported by rural districts that were concerned about emergency response time and their ability to hire resource officers, the statement said.

Those who opposed the resolution rejected the idea that armed staff would make schools safer, the statement said. . . .

The American Federation of Teachers opposes the measure, which gun rights advocates claim could deter mass shootings at schools.

Gun violence prevention groups plan to gather outside the conference to rally against the measure.

Our research was used by those hoping to let teachers defend their schools.

[Board member Jeanette Ward] did say that the administration provided a memo, which is not public, that included what she felt were “partisan talking points.” She supported the resolution for multiple reasons, most notably for local control.
“Local school boards should be able to decide for themselves,” Ward said. “Why would U-46 feel the need to tell every other school board in the state that they can’t consider arming teachers? Shouldn’t that be up to those school boards? “
Ward added: “Philosophically, I believe teachers should be able to decide for themselves, not told what to do when their lives or their students’ lives are on the line.”
Providing “counterpoints” to the administration’s memo, Ward cited a survey by PoliceOne showing that 81 percent of police officers support arming teachers and data from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) showing that 97.8 percent of mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in designated “gun free zones.” She also said arming staff acts as a deterrent stating “concealed handgun permit holders take away that strategic advantage from the killers.” . . .


2 Responses

  1. Gary Kuntz says:

    I have been teaching in a large high school (3,500 students) in the Houston area since 1996.

    We all should know that Weapon Free Zones are easy killing zones. We should all also know that Time is one of the critical issues in a mass shooting. Therefore, the following is a plan every state and every school district should adopt immediately.

    The first step in a multi-layer safety program for public schools to protect students and staff from mass murderers must begin with getting rid of Weapon Free Zones. Once this initial and foundational step is taken, then there should be a two-fold approach that consists of a Defense and an Offense. And for this approach to school safety itself to be safe, the school district should set standards for those who want to participate, for not all staff will want or should participate.

    For example, the caliber of the handguns used should not exceed 45 acp and should not be less than 380. The gun should be easily concealed. All staff, whether in Defense or on Offense, should keep secret that they are armed so that potential murderers do not know which adults are prepared to defend themselves and which adults are prepared to assertively neutralize them, which itself is a deterrent.

    And as for cost, the district should be responsible for the mandatory training (at least 7 to 14 hours for Defense and at least 35 hours for Offense, which should be done every summer) as well as the cost of insurance. Everything else – the cost of the obtaining a license from the state to carry (i.e. background check), the cost of a gun, the cost of ammunition, and the cost of verified monthly shooting practice at a gun range, etc. – are the responsibility of the person.

    Here are some aspects of what this Defense and Offense.

    The Defense is simple. This is simply done by allowing those adults who wish to do so, after meeting the above district requirements, to conceal carry in school. Then, IF there is an attack, these adults have a tool with which to defend themselves and their students. There is an old adage: One doesn’t bring a knife to a gun fight. One also does not bring a stapler, a chair, a fire extinguisher, or a box of paper clips to a gun fight either. One brings a gun.

    I cannot imagine the final minutes of horror victims experienced just prior to a murderer shooting them because they had nothing with which to defend themselves. They were the classic defenseless sheep being led to slaughter, when what they needed was to be sheep dogs who are equipped to protect themselves and others. In short, these adults are Defense only.

    Next is the Offensive part of school safety, and here is what it should involve:

    • Those who volunteer to be on this Offensive team should be interviewed to make sure they qualify for such an assignment, that of aggressively neutralizing the murderer (e.g. they have the courage and commitment, the physical ability and basic skills).
    • This position should not have any sort of extra pay attached to it, so that no one volunteers just for the increased pay.
    • The training for those on the Offense should consist of both classroom theory and practical application. Each campus team should also have some time of training that is specific to their campus.
    • All of this is in addition to the district requirements mentioned above — i.e. obtaining a license from the state to carry (i.e. background check), conceal carrying a district approved gun, and performing verified monthly shooting practice at a gun range, etc.

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