School weighs in on teachers, guns, intruder drill

Luke Hand, Interviewer

The secretary of education, Betsy Devos, has been trying to make guns legal for teachers in school to increase safety along with the use of intruder drills. The principal of Big Spring High School, William August, said that guns could possibly increase safety, but he would be skeptical of their use in the long run. He said that using the intruder drill is much more effective and would be much safer. August said, “It’s a simple solution to a complex problem.”

Bryan Grzyboski, the school resource officer, did not want to take a stance on guns and teachers, but did explain the intruder drill further in detail. He said, “There are three concepts to this drill: run if there is a good chance, hide if you think an intruder is close, and fight if there is no chance to escape.”

English teacher, Bethany Pagze, said that after reading some studies, she found having guns could result in the students taking possession and being a threat to the school. Pagze said, “I don’t want to use the gun against the intruder or accidentally shoot a student.” After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the Trump administration brought together a federal commission on school safety, led by Devos, to look at topics of mental and behavioral health at the school.

Spanish teacher,  Senora LaRose, does not support arming teachers, LaRose said, “I would feel highly uncomfortable around other teachers that have guns. The lockdown is effective and the school taught teachers how to respond to the intruder drill.” 

Carson Rickrode, a freshman, supports arming teachers, and said, “If someone walks in with a gun and the teacher doesn’t have one, then what?” The School Marshal Program is one of the few schools that allows school employs to have guns.

Isabel Myers, a freshman, said that guns would be safer and she would feel safe with the teacher with a gun. Myers said, “The drill wouldn’t be necessary if teachers had guns.” 

A poll was sent to our student body about this very issue. Out of 178 responses for supporting or not supporting arming teachers, 51.7% said No and 48.3% said Yes.