Parkland Commission: Yes, Let’s Arm Qualified Teachers

Parkland Commission: Yes, Let's Arm Qualified Teachers

courtesy Washington Post

With the one-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School murders approaching, Broward County officials have been considering how to prevent a recurrence. According to the Washington Post, though, it would appear they’re leaving more than a few boxes unchecked:

[Kathy Koch, chief spokeswoman for Broward County Public Schools, said] “We are studying the observations [regarding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting] deepen our understanding of what happened, who was responsible, and what might have been done differently.”

“We are considering the best, most expedient ways to implement recommendations throughout all areas: security policies and procedures, training, communication systems, physical hardening, and threat assessments,” she said in the statement. “We hope that there will never be another assailant in any school anywhere, but we will do our best in Broward County Public Schools to be prepared to prevent another tragedy from occurring.”

Much of the focus for school security following mass shootings revolves around new technology, experts say, while the vulnerabilities more typically involve human failure, inadequate procedures and poor implementation of policies.

“They’re looking at the `wow’ but they’re not thinking of the ‘how.’ It’s, `Do something, do anything, do it fast and do it differently,” [said Ken Trump, a consultant who advises school districts on safety protocols]. “This is not going to be solved with a quick fix of more cameras, more hardware, more equipment, more technology. It’s people, policies, procedures, communications and systems failures.”

Then there’s this little gem from local-to-Parkland LE. Yeah, your handgun skills are perishable, which is why I am constantly pushing training. If you don’t train regularly you are doing something wrong. Find a way to train; do not be one of those “I forget/never had training” guys who fails at the defining moment of their lives.

Some Broward sheriff’s deputies “could not remember the last time they attended active shooter training,” and others could not remember what training they had received.

“A significant number of officers and deputies said that additional training would be beneficial; however, they also said that no amount of training can prepare you to face such an event,” the [public safety commission] report states. (Washington Post, Parkland Shooting Commission Describes  School Security Lapses, Police Missteps)

I was hoping for a miraculous “let’s arm teachers, let’s end gun free zones” moment but it did not come. Not exactly a surprise, but..

Wait. That was the Washington Post. Check out what Fox News reported:

The panel investigating the Florida high school massacre recommended Wednesday that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks and training be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future shootings.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 to recommend the Legislature allow the arming of teachers, saying it’s not enough to have one or two police officers or armed guards on campus. Florida law adopted after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead allows districts to arm non-teaching staff members such as principals, librarians and custodians — 13 of the 67 districts do, mostly in rural parts of the state. (Fox News, Parkland Shooting Commission Recommends Teachers Be Armed to Stop Violence)

The vote is a start. Now let’s see it put into action not only in Broward County, but nationwide. As for the WaPo failure to include that detail, well, are you really surprised?

comments

  1. avatar Yepnope says:

    Good. If schools are a target,, they need to be hardened

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      So we’re all agreed? The next Florida school shooting after these hardening measures will take place right at the soft edge of the hardening. I’d guess at the school bus pick-up/drop-off muster area. Second high probability location would be in the stands at a big game. Homecoming, perhaps?

      Arming defenders is fine and dandy, but it isn’t a real solution. I’m not against it. I’m just noting its limitations. Even if every teacher, custodian, cafeteria worker, and front office admin were all armed with ARs slung over ttheir shoulders, the fact would remain that a spree shooter always has first move advantage. They’re always going to be able to take out at least the first two or three victims at will.

      Until we realize that there are monsters among us and move to identify and address them directly, then we’re just fooling ourselves. Focusing on firearms as being the bulk of the solution is a futile as focusing on firearms as being the bulk of the problem.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        J-H, the first time some nut shoots up the bus stop, or whatever, at a school which has armed teachers, we should have a national celebration! There could never be a better example of GFZ and their results. Next step, along with the school bus license (or whatever), you need CC ability in order to drive a bus. It will be forever obvious what the answer to mass shootings must be.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Hamas suicide bombers target bus stops and buses in Israel.

        2. avatar anonymoose says:

          Man, when I was a kid the other kids gave the bus driver hell, constantly. It takes great restraint and patience to be a school bus driver.

      2. avatar Ing says:

        It is very much a real solution. It is not the only one, and it can’t solve the whole problem, but it is the realest and most useful one available.

        Until we somehow figure out how to make people not want to kill others in batch lots, it’s the only truly useful solution we’ve got. And best of all, it only takes free exercise of the constitutionally protected civil rights we (theoretically at least) already have.

        1. avatar jon boat says:

          lol arm the people telling your kids:
          -white people are bad
          -that they cant pray in schools
          -that there are 27 genders

          >this is low energy jeb bush cuckservatism

          >we need to stop pushing dumb narratives

      3. avatar CZJay says:

        It is the bulk of the solution for the victims because prey can’t stop predators from being a predator. They must have offensive abilities to fight off the attack. Prey must always be in a state of readiness to fend off ambushes.

        To prevent the predator from victimizing, the family must take responsibility. We have seen that parents, especially mothers, refuse to do so. How else do we find predators, catch them and cage them when we don’t have evidence? The parents know what is necessary to put away their violent and crazy children in the proper place.

        We don’t hold parents responsible for their children’s actions when they knew their children were one step away from murdering and chose to not warn people. We can’t rely on the parents that create such children to help keep society safe. We can’t spy on people. We can’t get rid of weapons. The problem will persist until we can rely on proper parenting, thus we will continue to lose our rights year after year because nothing changes in that regard.

        The least we can do is to not be prey, become strong and fight back so predators learn there is no free lunch anymore.

      4. avatar little horn says:

        and let me guess, you have the perfect 100% solution. no? because there ISN’T one.

  2. avatar Waynefromfl says:

    And yet the powers that be won’t be punished for failure to do their jobs. Broward sheriff was warned and had multiple run ins with the psycho and did nothing. FBI was warned many times and did nothing.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      The FBI was too busy looking for Russians that stole the election.

  3. avatar Dave Huff says:

    Teachers, hell.
    Let’s arm qualified students!

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I was in high school in the early ’60s, some of our school staff were WWII vets, but I can guarantee there were students who could do the job, too. We had a boy a year or 2 in front of me who drove a school bus his last 3 years in school, also helped his Dad run their gas station and played on the football team. One Saturday he was preparing to leave for the football game when he heard gunshots, a would-be robber had traded shots with his Dad, who was wounded. Robber ran out and around the side of the building, still shooting. This boy (probably 16-17) grabbed his shotgun and went around the building the other way til he popped out behind the shooter, shot him dead, then went back to check on his Dad, 2 minutes with a responding cop, and headed for the football game. There were only 125 total in my class, but I bet there were at least a dozen who could have done that well. As in, 4 dozen in the school. It was a different world.

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        My class had 15. All 8 boys and 3 of the girls were experienced hunters. Rural Minn. in the 60s. Large families in a poor area. Some “subsistence” hunting and trapping for a few.

        2 questions; Will the teachers have the same “duty to act” as cops? Will they be issued “smart guns”?

  4. avatar OBOB says:

    “that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks ”

    I would HOPE that “””””””””extensive background checks”””””””””””” have BEEN done WAY before they entered the class rooms???
    that right there is one stupid reason why I don’t trust government…”””hey we trust them to teach your kids…but a gun..now that is going to far! We have to check them out more!”””

    1. avatar M1Lou says:

      This was my thought. If they are teaching, they had to go through some sort of check beforehand. It that is not enough to trust them with a firearm, why would I trust them with my children?

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Armed teachers? Never gonna happen in Broward. All those New York City transplants would faint dead away at the very thought of it. They’d rather see their kids dead than see a gun.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      What ya sayin’, are you scared they might go back to NYC?

  6. avatar anarchyst says:

    I would take it a step further…hire veterans as janitors and maintenance personnel, and arm them. Janitors and maintenance personnel have the run of the school and KNOW where the hiding spots are.
    Hiring veterans–NOT law enforcement, is the key. Law enforcement personnel consider their own lives to be more important than that of the students and will choose to “run the other way” or “cower and cover in fear”, while veterans are trained to run TOWARD the sound of gunfire.
    It is interesting to note that today’s “law enforcement personnel have statutory protections that us ordinary “civilians” do not possess. “Law enforcement” personnel can fire multiple shots at random, hitting innocent people and STILL get away wit no sanctions of punishment.
    “Law enforcement” is useless in school shootings. Almost every school shooting was responded to by “law enforcement” waiting for the shooting to stop–NOT ACCEPTABLE–PERIOD!

    1. avatar YuGo HuGo says:

      The idea of allowing those teachers who volunteer, take the training and carry concealed is a positive step in the right direction. There is no one “fix all” solution. Doing things(anything) to curb the very possibility of or reducing causalities is the prudent things to do. The problems cannot be fixed overnight by any one solution.

    2. avatar Sian says:

      Well stated.

      The primary drive of LEOs is “I want to go home after my shift.” That is a deterrent to going into an active situation. The good ones can override this drive with that of ‘not on my watch’ but you obviously can not be expected to rely on this.

      The primary drive of teachers is much more complex, and many are driven to protect their students but even when reduced to “I want to go home after my shift.” will still encourage fighting back over being shot while a cowering victim.

  7. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Never will happen to an extent to have an effect. However, the GOP will tell you they’re arming teachers. In reality, what they’ll do (think Rick Scott) is pass mega gun control and not arm any teachers at all. Or arm a couple at enormous expense.

  8. avatar Texican says:

    Easiest solution for parents is to remove their children from the government indoctrination centers and home school. At home school all the adults can be armed. And some of the mature children! And it’s a less inviting target. Oh, in some Israeli schools high school kids are part of the armed security.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Yeah THAT’S my answer too…brother home schooled 10(10!) kids. His wife anyway. Son and daughter-in-law do it with my 3 grandkids. Glad my kids are grown but my son’s HS had an armed officer and I personally saw them knock the shit out of a young punk…

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      I would remove kids from the state schools for a lot of reasons. As far as security private schools take it more seriously and the students are far less likely to be whackos like in public schools. The private schools are expensive while the public is “free” and takes all comers.

  9. avatar Craig in IA says:

    From the original article: “The panel investigating the Florida high school massacre recommended Wednesday that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks and training be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future shootings.”

    I spent 40 years in public ed and the word “extensive” for background checks and training would likely mean a standard NICS check (what else could they expect?) and a permit to carry, perhaps an “enhanced one” where actual shooting must be done occasionally. That should be about it.

    Schools always tout and spout about special training of staff in other matters and for the most part, it’s BS and sitting around listening to some expert who never was a decent teacher in the first place telling them how to teach this and that student- no idea or clue. Any additional firearms training would likely be some cop coming in for an in-service session, I doubt the school would spend money for an actual training program.

    (CZJay:) “It is the bulk of the solution for the victims because prey can’t stop predators from being a predator. They must have offensive abilities to fight off the attack.”(…) No, and that’s the point- teachers do not need “offensive” training, they just need to be able to defend their class room or immediate area from a shooter. In most cases, lock the door, turn off the lights, move the kids out of sight of the doorway, seek cover behind the big desk and anything else to fend off incoming rounds and put the muzzle of their handgun in the center of the door way. If it is kicked open and someone appears with a gun or in a threatening manner, start putting rounds through the middle of the now-open doorway. About anyone can do that.

    The other scenario would be a hallway or open area, lunch room, outside the building, etc. If the teacher is in proximity, do whatever can be done to end the shooting, if not in the area defend the position where he/she/it is. Even the cops would be wary of just running into the kill zone without some sort of strategy. Sure, everyone on this site wants to be a hero but I’d also bet most of them would like to live, too.

    Final analysis (and you’ve got to spell “anal” to get to analysis), NBD to exoect an armed teacher to defend a classroom, more thought needs to go into expecting the average anyone to go hunting an active shooter. A regular NICS and a current permit should suffice, and that would all come at the teacher’s own expense.

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      And since the damn edit button has never returned: This idea about schools hiring ex-military people or old cops to wander around the halls is BS- schools can hardly operate on the funding they receive now. (Of course, if they’d drop the PC indoctrination mantra and just go back to teaching real, live and useful material there might be some money left over. I’d expect armed teachers in every building long before they drop teaching lgbtq lifestyles, the entire communist manifesto and everything else but…)

    2. avatar CZJay says:

      When I say “offensive abilities” I meant guns not desks and hockey pucks. Guns are an offensive tool. Also, people should be trained to use it as such…

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I would argue that generally a rifle or other long gun is offensive. A sidearm is generally defensive.

        Obviously roles can be reversed but that’s not standard practice or thought process. I mean, if you were knowingly going to a gunfight you’d want to bring your friends and have everyone have a long gun. You wouldn’t pick pistols to go on the offensive if you were given the choice.

      2. avatar Craig in IA says:

        CZJay- i get the connection but no one is going to train school teachers or anyone in the general public to seek out and hunt down a shooter somewhere in/on a campus active shooter with any firearm and a lot of ammo who is already killing people. The fact that in Parkland the (supposedly trained) cops already there were reluctant to engage ought to support that. Again, I know everyone on TTAG thinks they’d be the big hero and wishes they could be put in this scenario but in real life I’ll bet just about all would find some reason to be elsewhere. Arming teachers, as with the general population who now carry everyday is enough to defend themselves and their little square of turf. As a teacher in that situation, leaving the kids in my charge defenseless to go out and try to chase someone down when I don’t know where he/she/it is would be negligent on my part, especially if said shooter came in while I was gone. Take what you can get- it’s lightyears ahead of Gun-Free Zones.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          I don’t advocate for chasing the shooter when you have people to protect and areas to lock down.

          Training has to include some aggressive confrontation because you don’t know where you will be at the time of the shooting. Two staff in Parkland found themselves running into the building… Teachers in classrooms will mostly focus on training to lock down that classroom and protecting that area, but the things you will teach them can’t be what you teach grandma because grandma isn’t going to be getting into a gunfight whereas a teacher is. You don’t want the teacher to be unfamiliar with shooting from different positions, moving while shooting, using aggressive tactics and shooting to kill instead of wound.

          When you train to be offensive you have the ability to choose what you will do. Training only to lock doors and hide in the closet isn’t going to give people a complete set of skills. You can’t forget the first staff that could stop the shooter could be in the first classroom the shooter enters, as we have seen with that man that rushed a school shooter and got shot as he disarmed the kid.

          The mindset is much different than teaching people how to defend themselves during a break-in, being that someone is trying to hunt people down and kill everyone he sees. So the mentality is more akin to teaching someone how to save their kids during a home invasion.

        2. avatar Craig in IA says:

          “When you train to be offensive you have the ability to choose what you will do. Training only to lock doors and hide in the closet isn’t going to give people a complete set of skills.” Not at all what I advocated or wrote and I also covered the rest as well. I laid our a plan that any teacher or staff member with a handgun and a CCP could handle and one that would’ve saved lives at Sandy Hook, among other shootings in GFZs.

          If you want to kill off the arming of any staff members, go right ahead and advocate an offensive rather than defensive role. Words have meanings.

  10. avatar Jay in Floriduh says:

    Its the “sensible” thing to do.
    End “Gun Free Zones”.
    Arm everybody. Any adult who wants to be. That’s in the school system.
    “For the CHILDREN”
    NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.
    This used to be a good sensible area. Till it was taken over by the North Eastern Libitards.
    I ought to know. I live here one town over from Parland in Boca Raton, and have been here since the early 70s when this was a rural community. Which was why I moved here back then.
    Now. Its Long Island but HOT and LIBITARDED.

  11. avatar Bob Jones says:

    The fundamental dishonesty of the Washington Post and New York Times is despicable.
    They should be put out of business or barred from charging for their useless product.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Thanks for the laugh!

  12. avatar Rocketman says:

    The lack of training by the sheriff’s dept. shows clearly that Israel did nothing to protect the citizens of his county. He should be arrested and at the very least tried for multiple counts of criminal negligence. Five to ten years in prison would show that the students and the teachers didn’t die in vain.

  13. avatar Sian says:

    Broward county is full of criminals who hold public office, and these criminals are re-elected year after year by the people. It doesn’t need a cleaning, it needs a power-washing and bleach. Nothing good will happen there until this takes place.

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    I spent many years in palm beach county, won’t go back. I didn’t have kids then but others who did told enough stories that if I did I would leave the state before letting them attend public school there.
    PBC will never allow armed teachers, it’s more liberal than Broward. They are putting faith in red flag laws, AR bans, age restrictions, etc instead of hardening and arming.
    When i lived there the Haitians invaded by the boatload and their kids took over the schools. Now it’s Puerto Ricans this time. Florida gets waves of refugees every few years and the schools have to retool to adapt.
    But they aren’t going to retool schools for armed protection. More SROs like Peterson who are too fat and close to retirement walking around all day is what you’ll get.

  15. avatar Eddie V says:

    Am I the only one who saw he opening line of this article?

    “With the one-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School murders approaching, Broward County officials have been considering how to prevent a recurrence.”

    Almost a year and they’re “considering” what to do. Apparently playing politics is more important.

  16. avatar Coffee Addict says:

    I don’t know why they don’t take police stations and schools and house them in one building. HAHAHAH ok.. Back to reality, how about you deputize everyone. everyone becomes a member of the ‘only ones’ and there you go. enough police for 1-1 coverage.

  17. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    “13 of the 67 districts do, mostly in rural parts of the state”
    This is why there is such an enormous divide between the Liberal Gun owners and county/rural / Conservative gun owners.

    Liberal gun owners totally trust the big city police departments.

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