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Stop Arming Teachers Toolkit



Arming teachers does not make our schools safer. In fact, putting a firearm in the classroom increases the likelihood that a student will get access to a gun, escalates the risk of shootings, and introduces new liability risks. In the several states that allow various personnel/individuals to carry guns in schools*, we are taking action to oppose arming teachers at school boards nationwide. This toolkit will guide you through some key talking points on opposing arming teachers and taking action at the school board level.

*You can find out if your state allows teachers or the general public to carry guns in K-12 schools here.

What Does Arming Teachers Mean?

In several states, individuals, such as school personnel, are allowed to have a gun in the classroom and on school grounds due to misguided thinking that keeping a gun in the classroom will bolster school safety. Following the tragedy of school shootings, legislators can rashly discern that the answer to improving school safety is arming teachers or other school personnel. However, oftentimes the final decision for allowing arming teachers on school grounds falls to school boards, giving students, parents, teachers, and other school community stakeholders a chance to sway the implementation of this perilous policy.

Why is Arming Teachers Harmful?

Arming teachers can introduce new risks to the classroom and places excess stress on educators to be the responder in high pressure situations. The research below accentuates these risks and can be utilized to underscore to others the importance of opposing arming teachers.

The Research

What to Say When Talking About Arming Teachers

For a holistic overview of Everytown’s research on arming teachers, you can view our fact sheet on the risks of arming teachers.

Topline Supporting Points

  • Arming teachers introduces new liability risks
    • School policies may expose teachers to criminal liability in the event policies are not consistent with state law. It is also unlikely that insurance companies would indemnify schools from monetary claims in these cases. 
    • State immunity laws cannot exempt schools from all legal liability, particularly federal civil rights liability.
  • The risk of shootings increases
    • There have been several incidents of guns unintentionally or intentionally discharged on school grounds by school staff.
  • Students will access teachers’ guns
    • Research strongly suggests the notion that children will access guns when they are present.
    • There have been multiple incidents where guns carried into schools were misplaced and several more where they were outright stolen by students.

Alternatives to Arming Teachers

  • Protect Schools with Evidence Based Actions
    • Establishing threat assessment programs
    • Implementing basic security upgrades
    • Planning in advance for emergencies
    • Establishing safe and equitable schools
  • Enacting Sensible Gun Laws
    • Extreme Risk Laws
    • Responsible firearm storage laws

Writing Your School Board Resolution

Are you ready to go to your school board? Use the tactics and tips in Students Demand Action’s Urge Your School Board to Act on School Safety Toolkit to guide your advocacy efforts. You can find a model Arming Teachers school board resolution here, that can be edited to your specific state. Students in states, such as Ohio, have also combined this resolution with a secure storage resolution, an example can be found here, to address the entire landscape of school safety in their state. Make sure to send your model school board resolution to prior to going to your school board so the Students Demand Action team can review it.

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