Education News

What are Gov candidates across the country saying about guns in schools?

People hug one another before the start of a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In the time since the Columbine Massacre, 19 years ago today, 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at their school during the school day. That’s equivalent to the population of Salt Lake City. Gun violence in our schools is not a predetermined outcome that we must be prepared for —it is a consequence of decisions made by our elected leaders.

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The problem extends beyond mass shootings. Gun violence affects the lives of our students far too often, inside and outside of schools. Gun violence affects too many youth, especially in communities of color, on a daily basis. It is far past time for our leaders to take real action when it comes to gun violence.

Elected leaders across the country have released plans for how to deal with gun violence in their states and in our schools. At the Federal level, Donald Trump has tweeted his support for arming educators, while Betsy DeVos has, unsurprisingly, echoed his comments.

Scroll down to see how elected leaders and candidates in your state have addressed the idea of arming educators.


In Michigan, current Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette has spoken out in support of the Trump plan to arm educators in his state.

“That is an option that ought to be considered,” Schuette said in an interview with ABC News last week, “If we have to work on having security officers in schools and or teachers that are specially trained, specially equipped, that’s an option we ought to review.”

Democratic front-runner for the gubernatorial election, Gretchen Whitmer, on the other hand, has not only spoken out against arming educators, but also opposed a bill passed in Michigan that expanded concealed carry laws to include bars, preschools, churches and other places.

Other States

Want to find out how politicians in your state have voted on gun violence? Check out this New York Times interactive feature to learn more!

18 responses to “What are Gov candidates across the country saying about guns in schools?

  1. In some states prison guards do not carry guns because prisoners can grab the gun and shoot the guard.

    I could see this happening if teachers were armed.

    1. I can see irrational nutcases entering schools where there are no barriers, no checks, no armed personnel and shooting up the place with no hope of protection for the ‘soft’ targets.

      1. Marine Bob – Ft. Hood in Texas had barriers, checks, and trained armed military police yet it was attacked in two separate shooting incidents in 2009 and 2014. A total of 17 people were killed and 44 were injured in the combined incidents. It’s certainly no “soft” target. I don’t expect whether it’s hard or not makes a difference to an irrational nutcase.

          1. Marine Bob – Yet, all the precautions needed to make it a veritable hard target were in place. Ft. Hood had fences, checkpoints, and the base was surrounded by armed personnel. These precautions still did not prevent a tragedy or act as credible deterrents. In your crazy world, every person in every locale would carrying a gun in order to mitigate or prevent an attack, that chances are, given an irrational perp. is going to happen no matter what you do. It’s not a workable or desirable approach, particularly in an environment full of children.

  2. As a clergy, a retired Navy vet (Vietnam era), and responsible community citizen where I live, I am totally opposed to arming teachers in schools. They were educated to be teachers, not sharp shooters! Period! Trump has missed the mark again with what he wants schools to do. And the NRA is an obnoxious bully on the issue. It’s time for common sense citizens to speak up, and demand from all levels of government to take action, but the right kind of action. And to tell them to quit pandering, or lack the intestinal fortitude to act!

    1. As far as teachers being educated to be (only) teachers, that ship has long since sailed. They have been and are increasingly being educated to be: political activists, baby sitters, meal providers, mental health coordinators, and lots of other non teaching duties.

      1. MarineBob – The ship that has sailed is the one with your common sense on this issue. Preparing our educators to be gun-toting Rambo’s is not the solution. Other countries provide overwhelming evidence that limiting the availability, quantity and types of guns leads to enormous reductions in mass shootings and other sorts of gun violence. You just refuse to acknowledge plain truth and keep focusing on ways to compound the problem.

  3. Once again the NEA is making a political stand on a very complex issue. Taking away all citizens’ rights is the only solution? That is simple minded and just more propaganda in support of the government solving problems. They just make them worse and I think it is pathetic how my union forces political views on paying members. DACA would be the other example and never mentioned how we could have solved that with bipartisan legislation that dems wouldn’t do because they wouldn’t be able to blame republicans and make them the bad guys! Now we don’t hear about it just like the press and dems because it was sheerly a political tactic. Dems always take the high ground. What a farce!

    1. Mark – I don’t understand how the NEA is trampling rights by presenting in this article what elected leaders have proposed to keep schools safe in a number of states. As far as DACA, both Republicans and Democrats have made attempts to fix it. The most recent was a bi-partisan agreement on January 11 that addressed border security, the diversity visa lottery, “chain migration” and Dreamers. The President opposed it and then proceeded to sabotage the whole process with unsavory comments about “s-hole countries.” The truth is Trump doesn’t appear to want a solution to DACA for fear of alienating his base of support.

    1. The restaurant apparently did not have an entry procedure as should all schools have. Not a rational comparison

      1. Marine Bob – If you’re referring to the ambush in Florida, the deputies were shot through the window of the restaurant. A determined school shooter would be just as capable of doing the same. Unless you’re thinking of turning every school in the U.S. into a single entry, walled and windowless prison, no possible entry procedure will prevent that type attack.

        1. Single entry or all entry points need to be monitored. You are correct, we can not prevent or ameliorate the effects of every type of attack but rational measures, commensurate with the times are what would make a positive difference. Personnel inside schools, prepared to confront attackers would make a difference. And before you start with the idea that any violence is unacceptable, we all have to agree that is correct. But on the other hand we have to decide what is acceptable for protective measures compared to how we want to harden schools

        2. I suppose not allowing people within some distance school windows is not reasonable? Effective shooting through windows at schools is easily preventable.

  4. …consequence of decisions made by elected officials?…..really?

    It would be interesting to see the results of a study done which investigated the shootings in police stations where most people there are armed. Or shootings in the vicinity of armored cars were the guards are armed. The world has changed and all need to recognize that doing what has been done for decades is no longer reasonable.

  5. My friend teaches Kindergarten. Her teaching, parent conference and paperwork are overwhelming. Now many people want her to train for weeks to handle a firearm, and to tote a gun with her in school. In kindergarten! There is something wrong when America puts cold, hard, weapons over the rights of citizens to be safe from slaughter when going about their daily lives. Especially children in their classroms. The Second Amendment must have limits, or else we should just declare Wayne LaPierre President and the National Rifle Association our new Congress.

    1. @Adele, not a single legislator has proposed arming all teachers and have clearly stated that only teachers who choose to be armed would complete the training. Something else you are not considering is that many military veterans are also teachers and already have had the benefit of the best firearms training on the planet. Further, someone like me – who is a certified educator and a concealed carry permit holder, would be willing to protect the students at my school in an active shooter situation. My dad and both grandfathers were in the military and I have grown up around firearms and have more than 40 years experience using a wide variety of guns. Why would you be opposed to someone like me or a military veteran protecting the children?

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