Guns in schools threaten safety of black and Latino students


Photo by Joe Brusky under Creative Commons license

Students at a protest fighting for black and brown lives. Partaking in ideals such as arming teachers will only increase the oppression they face.

Victoria Sponar, Staff Writer

There are many reasons as to why arming school teachers is an appalling idea. Doing so will only result in more school shootings and will only continue to fuel the obsessive gun culture that has engulfed the minds of United States citizens for centuries.

Armed school police and security are placed unequally in schools where students of color are a majority.

— Staff Writer Victoria Sponar

However, there is another viewpoint that many have not taken a look at, yet it is essential that this perspective is brought into light before such laws are passed. Latino and black students will be put under severe, lethal threat if the government decides to arm teachers.

Taking a look at statistics, one can easily learn how this is unfortunately true. Rebecca Klein, a political journalist for Huffington Post recently wrote about an escalating racial harassment in schools. “The U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights division saw a significant increase in the number of complaints it received regarding racial harassment in schools, including post-secondary institutions,” she writes. Benjamin Wermund, another political journalist, adds on to this fact by saying that “minority students and students with disabilities are disciplined, suspended out-of-school and expelled more often than their white, more affluent peers.”

Armed school police and security are placed unequally in schools where students of color are a majority. Many of these schools also have random checks, locked gates and other, more severe security checks, that white majority schools do not have.

This negatively affects students of color because they are automatically more criminalized than white students. This can be proven by the fact that black and Latino students make up an astounding 90% of students arrested. Giving a lethal weapon to teachers in environments that are already racially biased will only end in more devastation and in innocent murders by racists who “feared for their life.”

“Allowing citizens to carry handguns seems to increase violent crime 13 to 15 percent by the 10th year,” John Donohue, a law professor attending Stanford University said in a study.

A report on the case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by neighborhood watch George Zimmerman, attacked this gun issue by saying that Presumably, George Zimmerman would not have hassled Trayvon Martin if Zimmerman had not had a gun, so the gun encouraged a hostile confrontation, regardless of who ultimately becomes violent.”

Groups at the bottom of American race hierarchy receive the brunt of state violence. And when you increase the avenues for that violence, you make it more likely that a member of those groups will experience it,” political journalist Jamelle Bouie wrote in an article for Slate.

Instead of further militarizing schools and arming teachers, we must come together as a nation and get rid of policies that will only continue to divide and target black and Latino students.