ARE YOU A PROPONENT OF ARMED TEACHERS IN CLASSROOMS?
Thankfully, our school district has not experienced gun violence but as we have seen this can happen to any community, large or small. I would never want our community to experience what others have. Still, carrying a weapon is a big responsibility and I would have to listen to and collaborate with our teachers, administrators, parents, students, and law enforcement to find out what they want. After a thorough investigation, If they support a law enforcement staff member or armed teachers, I would too. My ultimate goal would be to have our students learn and our teachers teach in a safe school environment.
I have spent my entire career as a teacher, principal, and now as a leader in San Diego Unified School District where I work directly with teachers, principals, and superintendents. The safety of students is the most important aspect of schools, and nothing is more important than children feeling safe and being safe. Uvalde has taught us that in the face of an armed intruder, even the most highly armed, trained, and bulletproof shield yielding law enforcement can be ineffective against a single armed threat. I do not know a single teacher that wants to carry a gun or believes that carrying a gun is a good idea. Many teachers fear that arming teachers creates a potentially catastrophic scenario. The more likely scenario that teachers fear is that a disgruntled student that knows a teacher has a gun overpowers or takes that gun and turns it on a teacher, student, or anyone in the school. This is a far more likely scenario that many teachers have expressed to me, which is their nightmare. Teachers are trained to teach, help, and care for students, not apply deadly force. Teachers do not go to school to deal with deadly force situations. Teachers should never be put in a position where he or she needs to take a life as part of their job. If schools need protection, this should be left to trained law enforcement.
I am not a proponent of arming our teachers, and our teachers do not want this role or responsibility. We work closely with law enforcement in Alpine and continue to explore all options for safety on our campuses.
No. I do not believe that is necessary to have armed teachers or armed staff. We have put in a number of security features, including higher fences, more cameras, and better policies and procedures to protect the kids. But I do not believe in arming teachers with any kind of handgun or rifle.