Pa. educators speak out against arming teachers

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Feb 28, 2018 2:48 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Organizations representing teachers and school administrators in Pennsylvania are speaking out against proposals to arm teachers in the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. 

Educators say there is too much that could go wrong if guns are allowed in the classroom. 

Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, told WITF's Smart Talk she's heard from teachers who would leave the profession if guns were allowed in the classroom. 

"Our teachers in Pennsylvania are highly trained educators, they are not highly trained police officers," McCracken said, adding a better solution is to have armed guards in schools. 

Educators are also calling for more guidance counselors to help troubled students. 

Administrators are encouraging districts to reach out to the state police for a threat assessment, so buildings can be made safer. 

Paul Healey, executive director of the Pennsylvania Principals Association, says all threats need to be taken seriously. 

"No matter where they come in from, whether it's from a hotline, from social media, from a conversation heard at a lunch table between students talking about a kid, we need to run all of those down," Healy said.

Administrators say now is the time for districts to review their emergency procedures.

You can hear the entire interview here

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