The Parkland massacre was horrific, one that has and will color the behavior of schools in Broward County, Florida for ages to come. Many decisions will be made after considering the events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. So long as wise decisions are reached.
Unfortunately, it seems that wisdom isn’t happening. At least not yet.
In a robocall to parents, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addressed a recently passed state legislation allowing teachers to carry firearms.
Runcie said that, despite lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation on Wednesday, the district would not allow more classroom teachers to carry guns.
“We do not want to create a psychological impact on our children knowing their teachers have guns, nor create stress on our teachers as they deal with more non-instructional duties,” he said in the recording.
Runcie argued that arming faculty members will make schools less safe.
Really? How did unarmed teachers work out in the case of Parkland?
Seventeen people died. Teachers were unarmed and thus defenseless when a former maniac student walked into the building with an AR-15. Another 17 were injured.
All that might have been averted had even one teacher been armed lawfully.
Instead, Superintendent Runcie has decided that more children should be lambs to the slaughter. He’s made a decision unilaterally that teachers cannot be trusted with firearms, that they’re a danger to the students they’re charged with looking after during school hours. He’s essentially saying that teachers are potentially violent and could flip out and kill students at any minute.
I don’t suppose Runcie cares about the fact that we have a study that shows otherwise.
Honestly, I’d think that anyone in Broward County would understand the futility of trying to keep a school as a gun free zone. Those with malicious intent will always get guns onto the campuses of the district. They won’t be deterred. That means steps need to be taken to protect both the students and the staff.
We’ve seen that trusting school resource officers with this may not be the best decision.
So why not allow the people who have to be in the building and will likely be among the first targets to have the means to defend their own lives and, by extension, those of the students in their care?
I’m not deluded enough to believe all teachers are heroic. I’m not deluded enough to think that a teacher will run across campus to take on a shooter. What I do believe is that when faced with a threat, many teachers would be more than happy to defend their own lives if they could. It might be selfish (though understandable, to be fair) to focus on yourself in a moment like that, but that selfishness could be useful. Defending your own life can save other lives as well.
Too bad it’s not going to happen in Broward County.
Statistically, there’s very little chance of another school shooting in Broward County. They’re rare as hen’s teeth, so the odds of one district getting hit with two are astronomical.
Yet, should one happen, the body count will fall squarely on the shoulders of Runcie.