Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Arming teachers raises new worries

on April 11, 2014 11:00 AM

The “As I see it” column by Mark Zilinskas last Friday (“Back White’s bill on arming teachers”) raises a tough issue: Should teachers be armed on school property? I agree with him ... I disagree with him.

Mr. Zilinskas paints a horrifying picture of having to possibly close his door to those that may need help in order to preserve the lives of those in his classroom. My only disagreement with him is the arming of the teacher. For the good that it can provide, I have fears and reservations of the bad that it can produce.

My biggest concern is this: Will all teachers who would be permitted to carry a weapon be willing to take a life as well as give up theirs? Can they, without hesitation, take the life of a killer who may be or who has been their student? Can they shoot to kill in a crowd without injury to others? Can they avoid reacting with a gun to a student’s harassment and taunting without using a weapon for intimidation? None of these are accusations, just questions.

I feel that teachers are trained to educate, and that is what they should do. I am in full support of armed guards (retired police, ex-military). I have vocally argued for them in the Marion Center district, and it works there. It can work at every school. Their presence alone can be intimidating to any would-be assailant. If there isn’t the funding to provide these security measures, perhaps the districts need to drop some sports programs. I hit a sore spot there, huh?

America has the money to send troops all over the world to protect others, yet we leave our children without protection here? We can’t put a soldier in our schools? Does it cost too much to protect our kids, but we can protect theirs? Sen. Don White has the right idea, which is to protect our children. I just feel he is using the wrong resources.

Mr. Zilinskas brings up an issue that people would like to go away, but they are fooling themselves. He is absolutely correct also ... it can happen here, too. Let’s just make sure we go about it the right way. One more thing that wouldn’t hurt: Put prayer back in school. We can sure use the help.

Robert S. Colgan


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