NRA School Shield Program Nice Gimmick, But Unrealistic

NRA School Shield Program Nice Gimmick, But Unrealistic

 No Resources to Educate Children, Yet Alone Building a Shield; 

Arming Schools is Not the Solution

Statement of Ernest Logan Executive Vice President, AFSA

The American Federation of School Administrators opposes the arming of school personnel or school volunteers (other than sworn peace officers) at school sites. Educators are not law enforcement officers, educators are not SWAT team members, the role of an educator is to teach our children.

While we all understand the need to make schools secure and safe, putting guns in the hands of principals, teachers and other school professionals while on duty, will not accomplish that goal. In fact, it may make students feel less comfortable and emotionally unsafe.

The National Rifle Association’s School Shield program highlighted by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre last Thursday at CPAC is a nice public relations gimmick, but unrealistic. While there are some aspects of the School Shield program we think are worth a closer examination, including information on threats, vulnerabilities and risk assessments, arming educators is the wrong solution.

Imagine a principal or teacher trying to keep kids safe, pulling out their gun to shoot the villain and accidentally hitting one or more of the students they were protecting. There are endless stories of trained law enforcement officer’s bullets hitting a bystander, so how do we expect an educator to be an expert marksman?

AFSA feels the pain of the entire nation as we mourn the 17 lives lost and the thousands that were either physically or emotionally injured in the horrific massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School.

It is time to start having serious discussions with all parties sitting at the table. We must put aside partisan politics and discuss reasonable solutions. We support the 2nd Amendment. We have members that are gun owners and gun enthusiasts. But guns like an AR-15, a weapon of war, goes beyond our basic rights. Even the Supreme Court has established that as fact.

If the NRA and President Trump are truly serious about school safety, they would be advocating reasonable solutions, including increasing federal spending on school safety programs instead of cutting them from the budget.