Texas, reeling
under the grief of a terrible tragedy, is consistently thinking of ways to avoid
another Uvalde. However, the apparently easy way, at least according to
Republicans, to combat school shootings – arming teachers with guns, is not
something that has gained much currency among teachers. Texas allows teachers
to carry weapons since 2013, but very few teachers took up the offer.

Texas’ Republican
Attorney General Ken Paxton told Fox News, in the aftermath of the Uvalde
massacre, that trained and armed school staff could respond swiftly to violence
on campus
. He said that it’s a reality that there aren’t enough resources to
have law enforcement at every school.

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Texas’ law allowing
teachers to carry arms came into effect in 2013 following the Sandy Hook
massacre of 2012
. However, according to the Texas Commission on Law
Enforcement, only 62 teachers across 300 school districts signed on to the

Restrictions around
the policy were further loosened in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a high
school around Houston in 2018, but even that did not encourage teachers to

The Texas School
Safety Center conducted a survey of 1,000 schools and found that just around 280
school systems were willing to be part of an older, minimally-regulated school
guardian programme.

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According to Kathy
Martinez-Prather, the school safety center’s director, the school guardian
programme, or other programmes that call upon teachers to take up guns, are not
so that they engage the shooter.

“The purpose of
these individuals is not to engage the threat. It’s sort of a last resort,”
Martinez-Prather said in an interview with POLITICO. “If you can’t run and get
away, and if you can’t hide, sometimes you are left in a situation where you have
to defend. In no instance are we encouraging them to go and engage the threat
at any point in time, as a first option.”

While Texas
largely believes that gun-toting teachers is a march towards safety, the
federal government and has a different perspective. The US’ top education official
and the head of the largest teachers’ union say that arming teachers with guns
just serves to distract from the role firearms play in violence in the United

Miguel Cardona, US
Education Secretary, said, “The solution of arming teachers, in my opinion, is
further disrespect that’s already beleaguered and not feeling the support of so
many folks.” “We need to make sure we’re empowering our teachers to be
successful at teaching our children.”