MSD teacher calls talk of arming teachers distraction from goal of #neveragain movement

Posted at 7:11 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 04:35:54-05

After students pushed for state lawmakers to take up gun control, Florida representatives are now considering adding guns to schools by arming teachers, which is not the goal of the "Never Again" movement.

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"Legislators voted down a debate on banning assault rifles, but they allowed a debate to go through on whether they should arm teachers or not, which in my mind, I don’t understand how they can see the logic for that because adding more guns to the equation is not the answer," said Demitri Hoth, a junior at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Students say they don't feel comfortable with that idea because they think there's too much risk involved.

"I would be scared to come to school," said M'kaila Brown, a freshman. "I wouldn’t even want to go to school."

"I see no reason to be arming teachers. That’s why security guards are at the school," said Samantha Grindley, a senior.

Darren Levine, a teacher at Stoneman Douglas, said he doesn't want a gun in his own classroom. 

"I think it’s an absolute asinine idea," he said.

He thinks this topic is being used as a distraction from banning assault-style rifles, which is not part of the Florida House's current bill.

"All of this other discussion, all of this other talk is a distraction. Listen to the kids. the kids will bring it back to the focus," he said. "These kids know what they're talking about. If you ask a kid if they want their teachers armed, those kids are going to say no." 

Hoth, who has been involved in the Never Again movement, said the ultimate goal among his peers is to ban the type of weapon used to kill people in their own school.

"We have gained a lot of momentum, but I think there’s still a lot of work to be done," Hoth said.

"These kids are not going to stop," Levine said. "These kids have a movement going. They’re going to continue it until they make a change."

State lawmakers are also looking at raising the minimum age to buy rifles to 21 and creating a three-day waiting period for gun purchases.