Friday, March 30, 2018

To what extent should teachers go to protect their students
By Angelina Cazar

SAN MARCOS– President Donald Trump has made a proposal to arm teachers K-12 immediately after the parkland shooting that took place a month ago, which leaves people at Texas State with mixed feelings about gun control.

Since the beginning of 2018, there have been about 18 school shootings, causing a split between citizens on whether there should be new laws over gun control. President Trump has been pushing to make this bill happen by offering teachers a bonus. According to Gallup, about 73 percent of teachers opposed to carrying a firearm.

With over half of teachers in the U.S opposing this proposal, there are still schools allowing firearm on campus. For instance, Texas State is one school that allows students and faculty to carry concealed guns.

With over half of teachers in the U.S opposing this proposal, there are still schools allowing firearm on campus. Not only teachers are against this bill, but as well as some students and parents.

Melissa Matthew is a 10th grade High School teacher. She explains the mixed feelings she has as a parent with teachers carrying guns on school grounds.

“The only way I would support arming teachers is if a list of very strict criteria was met,” said Matthew. “Unfortunately, I have worked with other teachers that would not want to be armed at all because they don’t seem emotionally stable. So, as you can see I am a little on the fence still about this topic, but I probably lean more towards it is not a viable solution.”

Although some agree on arming teachers if criteria and training were met, some disagree and believe it is the best solution to protect students. Alec Garza, 20-year-old Texas State student states the real problem is not the guns, it is choosing the right person who has access to them.

 “yes, and I feel it is a good security measure to be taking place and I don’t think it should be mandated that every single teacher should be armed, the ones who want to opt-in that do have the background with guns and experience with firearms,” said Garza. “It’s not just getting a random teacher a gun and saying knock yourself out, protect these kids. Its people who like I said, have the experience, have the know-how, and they’re going above and beyond willing to risk their lives for their students by willingly putting themselves in that situation.”

President Trump suggests that armed teachers should receive extra pay as an incentive, According to The New York Times. Some feel that upgrading the pay can be a good thing since they will be putting teachers through extensive training and risking their lives to protect students. In contrast, Officer Otto Glenewinkel believes that extra money should go to hiring more officers to protect students. Not to have teachers get paid more to carry a gun when there is people out there who are trained for that position.

“It would be nice, but it is going to compel people to want to carry a gun, just for the added expense,” said Glenewinkel. “Those people would be excited and be all about signing up, just to get extra money. Okay, I want to carry a gun just so I can get paid $5,000 more a year.”
Some people want to do everything they can to protect students, but what they don’t realize is guns are not always the answer. Alma Zamora, a criminal justice major student at Texas State, believes a way to protect students from school shootings is to educate them more over the situation.

I believe that arming the educators will not deduct the problem, adding education about the problem will be helpful,” said Zamora. “Taking more time informing the students on how to take upon a situation like this when it occurs. This would perpetuate the idea of arms and it would send the wrong message to younger students.”

Although educating students about school shootings could help prevent the situations, there are some that feel there are both sides to this proposal. Laura Ortiz, a 23-year-old Texas State student, is not against arming teachers, but thinks the problem is how teachers will be able to handle their emotions when the situation occurs.

“Shooters in schools typically tend to be students, and that teacher has to be mentally prepared that at the end of the day he/she may have to end up shooting one of his/her own students,” said Ortiz. “And it may be heartbreaking and terrible but, do the ends justify the means? It just gets all shades of grey at this point.”

President Donald Trump is trying to make this bill into a law. Although most citizens don’t agree on arming teachers, they can agree on doing everything they can to end school shootings and protecting students.

Visit http://www.txstate.edufor information

Josh Martinez Diverse Sources Paper

Gun control debate has Texas State students and faculty choosing side

By: Josh Martinez

SAN MARCOS-In the wake of the school shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and faculty dead, President Donald Trump is proposing arming K-12 teachers as a means of making schools more secure. While the national debate rages, a survey of the Texas State community favored gun control over guns in classrooms.

The Brooking Institute has estimated the proposed policy, which would aim to arm 20% of teachers K-12, could cost as much as $71.8 million. This would mean an estimated 718,000 armed teachers across the U.S, 67,000 in Texas.

In the shadow of the 2016 “campus carry” law that allows students at Texas universities to carry weapons on campus, gun policy debate is nothing new to students at Texas State. However with more than 17 mass-shooting so far this year, attitudes on campus are squarely in opposition to arming educators.

“Teachers can become like second parents to some kids.” Said Jose Torres, 19, English major, “ I don’t think we should be putting teachers in a position where they may have to kill a student.”

This sentiment seems to be shared by a majority of Americans. A 2017 Pew Research Center poll shows that 55% of Americans are opposed to arming K-12 teachers.

It’s not just the guns themselves that have some in opposition to the proposed legislation. The economics of arming teachers is also a concern.

“Talking about regular school funding, supplies aren’t getting paid for and I’m just talking about regular school funding.” Said Benjamin Cole, 20, English major. “We can’t even give teachers the basics that they need.”

While a large majority of students may be opposed to arming K-12 teachers, this complicated issue has some students seeing merit to both sides of the argument.

“Knowing how many school shootings that have been happening, I can’t say I’m for it or against it.” Said Brian Golden, 22, music education major. “ Teachers would be able to protect themselves, but then again you could have a teacher dealing with an uncooperative student and could use it against the student.”

Despite many students being opposed to the notion of arming teachers, others feel that having well trained, armed teachers could be the difference in stopping an active shooter.

“Security who are trained but not in the immediate vicinity cannot help.” Said DeLara Julian, 59, Student Teaching Placement coordinator. “ If a teacher is closer, I would like the comfort and security in the knowledge that the teacher has met the training and certification requirements to handle the firearm in a particular situation.”

In a Pew research study, 80% of gun owners who identify as Republican are found to be in favor of the proposal to arm teachers.

“I would feel safer if my child went to a school where teachers carry firearms,” said Daniella Saucedo, 22, San Marcos. “ I would feel like my child was in a safer environment.”

With the debate continuing and mid-term elections happening in November, the national debate over arming teachers, and gun control policy in general, may be a factor in getting voters to the polls.

Arming teachers triggers controversy at Texas State

Arming teachers triggers controversy at Texas State

By: Caylee Kidwell

One month after the Parkland school shooting that killed 17 people, president Donald Trump has shown support for arming k-12 teachers, and those at Texas State are divided over whether the proposal will prevent future attacks.

So far there has been 18 school shootings in 2018 alone, causing a lot of angst towards gun laws. Even though 73 percent of teachers are opposed to carrying a gun on campus as said in a Gallup poll, Trump has offered a bonus as incentive.

About one-third of the United States has already started arming teachers. As of now, Texas State does allow students and staff to carry concealed hand guns on campus.

Kenneth Margerison, a history professor at Texas State, said that he wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying a gun on campus.

“I don't think teachers should be carrying guns around a class room,” Margerison said. “I think that would destroy the whole atmosphere between the students and the teacher.”

By contrast, Alec Garza, a student and business economics major would appreciate additional training for teachers in the classroom. He feels that the main problem resides in people, not guns and that mental health should be societies main focus.  

“You can’t treat a disease by just trying to cure the cough,” Garza said. “You know with stricter gun control laws you still have the same symptoms that are causing the disease. We need to focus on promoting the family, mental health awareness and a collective of issues that form what is going on in America.”

Some feel that if teachers were to carry a gun on campus, there would need to be an emphasis on time spent training and learning extensive knowledge about guns. On Feb. 24, 2018 Trump tweeted that teachers who carry a gun should be: “Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training.”

Kyle Hausmann, a criminal justice graduate and former police cadet, said that teachers should have similar knowledge about a gun than that of a police officer.

“When surrounded by kids, the teacher should know everything about that gun,” Hausmann said. “They should be proficient in everything from opening the safe through putting it back in. It should rival or exceed police training in the portion that involves shooting in that situation.”

Others feel that there isn’t enough training that could fully prepare a teacher for dealing with a school shooting. On March 13, 2018 a student was injured when a teacher accidentally discharged a gun during a public safety class.

 Abbey Gray, a lawyer and professor, said that she wouldn’t feel adept to use a firearm even if she did go through training. She also feels that they could be easily stolen, mishandled and misused.

“Even if I went through training I don’t think I would be capable of effectively using a firearm in an active shooter situation,” Gray said. “If that was a condition of my job I feel that I would be accepting a level of danger that would not be right for me and my family.”

Ultimately, Trump has left it up to the states to decide whether they want to follow through with the proposal. Texas State has varying opinions on the matter and will bring a multidimensional voice to the state of Texas.

239 school shootings, 138 killed, 2 solutions, 1 goal

By: Mason Thayer

SAN MARCOS – The U.S. has had 239 school shootings in the last 5 years. Despite having a unified goal the nation is divided by two solutions, arming teachers or gun control reform, and Texas State’s community is just as divided as the rest of the country.

According to The New York Times, 138 people have been killed in school shootings since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. The U.S. wants an end to school shootings and a growing number of people want gun reform, while others think arming teachers is a better solution.

PHOTO CREDIT: Alisa Pierce

Kyle Thompson, 19, political science major, supports arming k-12 teachers but doesn’t believe every teacher should be armed, only those who choose so.

“My history teacher that was right next-door said ‘I don’t want a gun and I’m not interested in owning a gun,’ so he doesn’t have to have one,” said Thompson. “But I definitely think teachers should be allowed to carry, so that they can protect themselves, rather than them not having it at all.”

However, not everyone agrees with arming k-12 teachers, Ashley Herrera, education major and future teacher, thinks gun control is the issue and opposes potentially being an armed teacher.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ashley Herrera

“It shouldn’t have to come down to that,” Herrera said. “As a future teacher, I wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying a gun in my class or around my students.”

There are some that see pros and cons of both arguments. Laura Ortiz, 23, communication design major, doesn't think arming teachers is a problem, but can they face the emotional challenges in an active shooter situation

PHOTO CREDIT: Emma Chapman
“Shooters in schools typically tend to be students. and that teacher has to be mentally prepared that at the end of the day he/she may have to end up shooting one of his/her own students,” Ortiz said. “And it may be heartbreaking and terrible but, do the ends justify the means, it just gets all shades of grey at this point.”

Politico reported that roughly 2 in 3 Americans now say gun control laws should be made stricter. With increasing political tensions many wonder if gun reform can be obtainable in our political climate. Lawyer and Media Law & Ethics professor, Abbey Gray, emphasizes how important speech is in this discussion.

PHOTO CREDIT: Texas State School of Mass Communication & Journalism

“I think that the first amendment, in particular, is incredibly important to this discussion not just because people can talk about it, but because we have to be able to listen to each other,” Gray said. “That’s why I think part of the value of freedom of speech has gotten lost because it’s just about you can say whatever you want you don’t get to expect that anybody will listen and I think that’s a real loss.”

On March 14th students across the nation participated in the National School Walkout demanding action against gun violence. Jacob H, 23, French and Spanish major, supports their protest and what the stand for.

PHOTO CREDIT: Alexis Richard & Angelina Cazar

“I agree with them, at the point where I admire them a great deal,” said H. “They are more courageous than I am now and even more than I was as a teenager.”

With political differences and opposing solutions, several people wonder if the government will do anything before the next school shooting happens. David Hoffman, 25, marketing major, thinks that more school shootings will happen before the problem gets fixed.

PHOTO CREDIT: Adrian Marroquin

“Every year there’s a new “largest mass shooting ever,” said Hoffman. “I don’t see the people representing us to do anything, anytime soon.”

Americans are united in a common goal of ending school shootings and keeping students safe. However, the difference in solutions may keep us from fixing the problem soon. Only time will tell if we as a nation can solve this problem before there is a new story that reads “New largest school shooting in modern U.S. history."