Should teachers carry guns? Union High’s Nick Ferroni weighs in
In the wake of the last Tuesday's school shooting in Colorado, and the fact that the Wednesday before, Florida's legislature passed a bill allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom, I asked if this would be a good idea in New Jersey. I also ran a twitter poll that showed a close 51% think not. Personally I agree with my strongest argument being I can't see a teacher who knows a student or has spent and amount of time with them during the school year make a split second decision to shoot them if push came to shove. That's not what teachers are made of.
One teacher who agrees is Union High School's Nicholas Ferroni, an activist who deeply cares for both his students and his profession. Ferroni's been named one of the 100 most influential people in America for his commitment to education reform, he's also been named by Men's Fitness Magazine's "25 Fittest Men in the World."
"We go from zero to a thousand," says Ferroni, who's brother is a sergeant in the New Jersey State Police. "Even he and all the troopers feel like this is absolutely insane even in conception concerning the amount of training that they go through." In Florida teachers would have to pass a 144 hour training course.
"Most teachers go into this profession because we're compassionate caring people," says Ferroni. "The idea of even having to carry a gun or possess a gun or even possibly to pull and use it kind of goes against our makeup."
Ferroni also brought up the possibility of students tackling a teacher to get the gun.
"Let's bring up a scenario where a teacher who's not nearly as skilled as an officer accidentally shoots a student, which will definitely happen, a student will actually die because of it."
Another scenario Ferroni mentioned is where a teacher is in a gun battle with a student and the cops come in and shoot them both. But when you step back,
"If we have to even consider arming teachers in schools, we don't need to reevaluate schools, we need to reevaluate society, because them maybe we're not as great as we think we are."
Ferroni says the best case scenario is to prevent it from ever happening. He said, "One simple solution is to create smaller class sizes: if a teacher is in a class of 20 students, they can see if a student is going through any kind of a difficult situation." It all comes back to the basics he says. "If we did basic basic things such as keep allowing teachers to have manageable classroom sizes, have access to counselors, kids have always been depressed throughout history but kids are doing things now that definitely are preventable."
Ferroni says he would gladly have another officer in his classroom or a retired veteran.
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