Are you licensed to carry? I often reflect that it’s better to stay home and not go out given the Wild West scenario. But you know what? The Wild West wasn’t this crazy. Schoolhouses were respected.

After Sandy Hook, and several other school shootings, it became evident that “thoughts and prayers” approach to this topic wasn’t getting the job done. What’s more, the gun lobby’s considerable influence and money encouraged politicians from doing the right thing (banning assault weapons for purchase).

After Uvalde’s school shooting, I thought that there had been enough young lives, not to mention the lives of educators, sacrificed on the altar of protecting against school shooting. I hoped that substantive change might result. But it appears the gun lobby, the politicians allied with them, continue to soldier on.

As a result, many educators I know decided to arm themselves, to ensure that they would have some way to defend their children, even if it meant defying the law to carry in school buildings. One of them, a deputy superintendent (now retired), said to me, “I’m ready to defend myself and others if somebody comes in here to harm us.” And, looking in the eyes of that silver-haired grandmother, I believed her.

3 Ideas


“The debate over arming teachers versus enhancing security measures reflects a deeper societal need to address the root causes of violence, including mental health support and community engagement.”


“Effective school safety strategies may require a multi-faceted approach that combines physical security measures with a strong emphasis on creating a supportive school culture that can identify and address potential threats early.”


“Preventative measures, such as conflict resolution education and anti-bullying programs, are essential components of a comprehensive school safety plan that goes beyond the immediate response to potential threats.”

2 Quotes From Others

I. Dewey Cornell, a forensic clinical psychologist and education professor:

“We should be investing in mental health services and in training for school staff and students in how to prevent violence. We can prevent these shootings, but we have to have a different mindset, which is not how we can fortify our schools, but how we can make our schools a healthier place where we are less likely to have a shooting.”

II. Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers:

“Teachers should be teaching, not acting as armed security guards. We need to listen to the educators and school staff who know our students, not arm them with weapons.”

1 Question For You

How can we balance the immediate need to protect students and staff from school shootings with the long-term goal of cultivating a safe and nurturing educational environment that addresses the underlying causes of violence?