While Mississippi Professional Educators Executive Director Kelly Riley said her organization had not taken a survey or poll of its membership, she said she did not think arming teachers was a good idea.
Riley said it would not be a good idea to add defense and firearms training to the already large number of trainings and collateral duties teachers are assigned.
“The general sentiment and feedback
that I have received is that there is very little support for that,” Riley said. “Teachers are not trained to be law enforcement officers. We have already heaped additional duty after additional duty on teachers, and all of that minimizes the time that they have for instruction. The last thing we need is to make them are wild west cowboys to engage in a shootout.”
Riley said if policymakers actually wanted to follow through with arming teachers, they would need to also provide sufficient funds and trained security guards.
She also spoke to the inherent dangers having several firearms at the school.
“What if a student got ahold of that?,” Riley said. “What if you have a disgruntled student who knows that there is a gun in the classroom? I mean, it's just not a wise decision.”
Shumaker said he thought building positive relationships would be a better means of preventing school shootings than arming teachers.
“We have to be conscious to form as many positive relationships as we possibly can,” Shumaker said.