Run, Hide and Let Law Enforcement Fight
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- October 01, 2019
In May of this year, Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill so controversial that
a clear line of sides was drawn. The bill was already approved by the state’s Senate and
will now permit classroom teachers to carry guns … in school. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)
has signed the bill and teachers can carry guns. It’s the law.
Republicans favor the bill, citing a commission’s recommendation to allow teachers to
be armed. Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, this
panel studied the concept of arming educators.
State Sen. Oscar Braynon (D) cited his concerns about bringing guns to campuses in areas
that are already flooded with firearms. Braynon’s district includes part of Broward and Miami-
“I unfortunately have to deal with parents who have lost children often because this gun violence
is prevalent in my community,” said Braynon, who voted against the bill. “A gun being in a
classroom, however it is that they’re planning to do it … just the concept brings a different environment
for those children.”
In a similar fashion, Utah is one of 14 states where teachers can carry a gun at school. Following
the shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Rowdy’s Range, I n Hurricane, UT, started
offering the class – which normally costs almost $800 – is free of charge to teachers.
One of the Utah course instructors, Brett Pruitt, 38, believes that teachers have the right to be
armed if they choose: “We give our children to educators for four to six hours a day and trust
them with their safety. My personal opinion is we should give them the means to [keep those
The lines of pro and con are pretty clearly drawn. Like just about anything these days, the
debate of arming teachers is highly charged and most often emotional. How would you feel if
your child’s teacher had a gun in the classroom? Would you feel better or feel that your child is
Utah law allows licensed gun owners to bring their concealed weapons in public schools, and
is one of several states in the country, including Florida and Texas, to do so.
“If teachers are going to be bringing firearms into schools, let’s make sure they know how to
handle them safely,” said Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith.
I thought a lot about this in late August as I took my granddaughter to her first day of school.
While most parents are as excited as any child would be, I walked into the school looking for
security solutions and devices. A teacher or administrator carrying a gun never crossed my
mind. I do think, however, we should start with the basics. Close and lock the doors. When
someone comes to the school, let’s keep that person in a vestibule or the office until credentials
can be verified.
Schools, or more particularly, teachers in a school is no place for a weapon, even if that person
has undergone firearms training. I trust school resource officers with a gun, and they should have
them. I’m completely in favor of teachers doing what they do best … teaching, to include how to
react if an active shooter is on campus. All respect to teachers nationwide, but I would never
expect a classroom professional to be the one to fire a weapon. Let’s teach the student to run or
hide and allow law enforcement to fight back.
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.