While the secretary of education has made it clear that she will not stand in the way of funding to arm public school teachers, a career school safety professional says there's a better approach.
In a letter issued two weeks ago, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said it should be up to Congress to ban such funding for arming teachers, if that is what is desired. But Ken Trump of the National School Safety and Security Services believes arming or not arming teachers is the wrong approach.
"I believe that by arming school teachers and support staff … you're crossing that line where you're not talking about your personal or family protection," he submits. "You're talking about tasking an educator, a school support staff member, a custodian, a layperson on campus to perform a public safety function."
Trump says the vast majority of schools will never experience a mass shooting. However, trained and certified school safety officers can play a vital role in such an event.
"Ultimately, the role of the police officer in school in a properly run program is to serve a deterrent and preventative role by intervening, building relationships with kids, and getting to the core of problems before they erupt in tragedy," Trump explains.
DeVos says she does not want to restrict state and local school agencies.
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