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The current US school context is characterized by several organizational problems that emerge with the introduction of new policies and the occurrence of controversial situations. In Dalton, Georgia, a school teacher, Jesse Randal Davidson, having a gun barricaded himself in the classroom (Smith, 2018). The teacher shot, while students were not injured as a result of the incident, the teacher was detained, and the work of the school was temporarily suspended. The mentioned incident occurred after President Trump’s idea to a weapon some teachers so that in case of danger they could protect their students, which is the primary source of the argument. This proposal meets a lot of criticism as people fear that the incidents will become more frequent (Faria Jr, 2013). The main parties involved in the conflict are the teacher, students, and the government. The presence of the political fallout in the above conflict is evident since it causes essential debates in society, and it is based on the extension of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Lawmakers of Florida consider similar bills, which include the gradual arming of teachers. $ 67 million was allocated to the program under the name of School Marshal, as offered by the state chamber, and school management should decide whether to participate in it and whether to fund training courses for its employees (Scheper‐Hughes, 2018). According to this project, teachers should undergo 132 hours of training, control checks, and drug tests to officially become employees of the local sheriff’s office – police teachers. Each school should have ten armed teachers, who will become police officers and receive additional remuneration. The identified decision may be regarded as useful to threaten perpetrators, while its impact on society, especially on school-age children is controversial.
However, it is also essential to pay attention to alternative ways of conflict resolution. No reliable studies are confirming that the arming of teachers can effectively prevent shooting in schools. On the contrary, some scientific assumptions illustrate that more weapons increase the likelihood of violence, and mass shooting is difficult to prevent even with the presence of firearms (Chrusciel, Wolfe, Hansen, Rojek, & Kaminski, 2015). In this regard, the peaceful resolution of the conflict seems to be more effective. For example, by educating teachers to interact with perpetrators, apply psychological strategies, and find a compromise based on a cultural approach may be more useful (Abigail & Cahn, 2013). In particular, communication strategies should be taught to both teachers and students so that they can protect themselves in case of an emergency.
Speaking of the source of the problem, it should be noted that the shooting of school-age children in the American city of Parkland, Florida, caused a new wave of discussions – how to resolve the problem of persons entering the schools with weapons and murdering students. The issues associated with bearing arms lie in the core of the given conflict, while the distribution of power is allocated between the state’s authorities and those of schools. The development of factional groups is characterized by two directions, involving those who support the specified policy and those who oppose it. The decision-making is subject to the impact of social, economic, and moral issues. At the same time, the solution accepted by Florida seems to fuel the conflict as the role of armed teachers remains unclear and controversial to many parents, children, and lawmakers.
Abigail, R. A., & Cahn, D. D. (2013). Managing conflict through communication (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.
Chrusciel, M. M., Wolfe, S., Hansen, J. A., Rojek, J. J., & Kaminski, R. (2015). Law enforcement executive and principal perspectives on school safety measures: School resource officers and armed school employees. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 38(1), 24-39.
Faria Jr, M. A. (2013). Shooting rampages, mental health, and the sensationalization of violence. Surgical Neurology International, 4, 16-24.
Scheper‐Hughes, N. (2018). How to talk (and not to talk) about school shootings. Anthropology Today, 34(2), 3-4.
Smith, D. (2018, February 21). Trump’s solution to school shootings: arm teachers with guns. The Guardian. Web.