The West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements after the West Virginia House Education Committee advanced HB 2364, which would allow teachers and/or administrators in West Virginia K-12 schools to carry concealed firearms on school grounds.
“Guns have no place on school grounds, period, let alone in the hands of teachers,” said Tosha Pelfrey, a volunteer with the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “There are proven ways to protect our schools from gun violence – putting guns into teachers’ hands is simply not one of them. This dangerous bill would only put students at more risk of gun violence, and we’ll keep fighting it wherever it pops up next.”
There is no research indicating that arming teachers makes children safer. In fact, increasing the number of teachers that are armed in schools increases the likelihood of guns being improperly used or falling into the wrong hands. In Texas, a school resource officer’s gun unintentionally discharged while he was at school. In Alabama, a substitute teacher’s gun unintentionally discharged in his pocket as he taught first-graders. And in Missouri, a teacher’s gun was stolen by a student in school.
The American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and Everytown for Gun Safety released an updated report of recommended school safety practices, which include physical security upgrades, implementing threat assessment programs and providing mental health counseling for students.
More information on the risk of arming teachers is available here.