Hey Ohio! Check out these stories of armed teachers’ gun fails!

Ohio Gov. DeWine signs a bill arming teachers after 24 hours of training

I just reviewed the Ohio Arming Teachers’ bill history & future. It stinks.

“In more than a year of debate on the legislation, witnesses spoke to oppose it more than 360 times, while around 20 people spoke in favor. ” wrote Bill Chappell at NPR. I downloaded pages and pages of testimony. The opponents gave the statistics, they told the stories of the problems and failures. Yet it passed. The gun lobby is still very powerful and knows how to push the right buttons with politicians. They also know how to push the “armed hero saves school kids’ lives” myth into the minds of the public.

I watched what happened with Florida’s Armed Teacher program. The NRA/MAGA crowd went to school boards where we saw bad slogans, incorrect premises and faulty data. They were going up against Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America who had peer-reviewed research, facts and matching t-shirts.

Unless the law can be stopped, we are going to see the same thing happen in Ohio. And it’s going to be a s*** show. Remember parents screaming about CRT & masking at school boards? We saw videos of people screaming at school board members in their cars, “We know where you live!” Expect the same, only with the addition of people who can legally open carry firearms in the parking lots and outside school board member’s homes.

Armed Teachers & Cops in Schools FAIL, but are still funded, so they’ll continue

Even though Gov DeWine said, ‘No school has to do this. This is up to a local school board,’ He also said that “some schools might have security officers or other plans to deter or counter an active shooter scenario.” If school boards want to get any money they will have to vote for ineffective SROs or dangerous armed teachers. Now you can TELL all the parents that SROs are ineffective & armed cops are dangerous, but they will STILL feel like they are “missing out” and not doing everything possible to protect the kids during a school shooting. (Someone needs to make it clear to them that “Gun in schools don’t work on an outsider coming in to shoot people AND adding guns increases the danger to kids over the years. )

I watched the meetings where parents went to school board meetings demanding to know WHY their school board wasn’t trying to “get the SRO money” like the other school districts. The people pushing armed teachers or SROs appealed to the protection instinct at the heart of every parent. “Don’t you want to give your kids one last line of defense? Wouldn’t you feel terrible if an armed person COULD have protected them and you didn’t get the armed person in YOUR kids’ school?” In one city in Nebraska parents went about raising money for SROs themselves.

These arguments for and against guns in schools happened in multiple states. It was heart wrenching watching the Florida House vote to give more teachers guns, just days after an armed teacher injured a child. And then once the funding was in place to pay for ineffective SROs or armed teachers, the idea to STOP funding them is even more difficult.

Never underestimate the power of free money plus NRA’s bumper sticker slogans over logic.


People will continue to hold out hope that THEIR SRO or THEIR armed teacher situation will have a different outcome. Everytime there is a school shooting incident and the SROs fail do they think, “We need to get rid of SROs!” Or “Good thing WE have SROs, OUR SROs are heros!”
Maybe if everytime an SRO or teacher has a negligent discharge it should make the national news. But they won’t. We can add them up, like Connie Rooke does, but they still don’t have the same impact as national news stories.

Personally I like to promote the successes of teachers & individuals tackling shooters, but school districts don’t get any money to pay for tackling training. (BTW the school security and training industry is a multi-billion dollar business!)

If parents don’t see any changes in state or federal gun laws, or are given other approaches to prevent or minimize deaths during a school shooting, they will stick to the “more people with guns” in school model.

In Florida schools didn’t have the option of using money to hire counselors instead of cops. Or buy defensive measures like bulletproof whiteboards instead of guns. (And yes, I’m FOR bulletproof whiteboards. I also think bulletproof inserts in backpacks are a good idea. Especially since in the study of 199 school shootings, the majority of them are stopped by unarmed people tackling them. )

In my 2018 piece about this, Why Are School Boards Putting More Guns In Schools? I addressed financial and insurance methods used to slow down or stop the programs from being implemented. I know that there are teacher groups using suing to prevent the law from going into effect in Ohio. But we also need a messaging effort in Ohio and across the country to tell the stories of the FAILURES of police, School Resource Officers, armed security guards, armed teachers and armed staff.

After Uvalde there is more openness to stories of failed cops in schools. But don’t expect stories of teachers who endangered the lives of students and staff by their negligent handling of guns.

The reason for this is because the media don’t want to demonize teachers. Especially when people think they are brave by arming themselves. These teachers will likely never face a school shooter. But during the days, months and years they are armed they will have multiple #gunfails. We need to tell everyone about these the COST of the #gunfails and mistakes. If we can’t attack the armed teachers, we CAN attack the COST of arming teachers. Make it expensive to do it.

Who Pays For Armed Teachers’ Gun Accidents?

When I wrote about insurance costs and liability from teacher and staff gun accidents in my piece, Who Pays For Armed Teachers’ Gun Accidents? School districts, school boards and legislators hadn’t yet answered questions about liability since then we have seen they either vote to remove teachers liability, or make insurance available. When the guns everywhere people see a roadblock they don’t say, “Oh well, we’ll just stop pushing for more guns in schools” They figure out how they can remove that roadblock so they can get guns in schools.

But some school districts are whistling in the dark if they execute a policy to arm teachers. During Florida’s hearing I learned about something called Monell Liability, where a school district could be liable for an accidental injury as a result of the execution of a policy that it adopted.
Here’s educator turned attorney Kelly Damerow describing how under Monell liability a school district could be liable

Attorney Kelly Damerow describes how under Monell liability a school district could be liable for a teacher’s gun accident

If there are cases where school districts are successfully sued because of accepting an armed teacher gun policies, this won’t just be a hypothetical for Ohio. But as I said, when we identify a roadblock to guns in schools, the gun lobby response is to legislate them away.

I do think the stories of the cost of negligent discharges of weapons and “accidents” by teachers & SROs might have some impact this time. But these stories need to be developed and pushed nationwide, specifically in places like Ohio.

Look, I like data and research I also know people don’t absorb them the way they do slogans. Stories about human failure with firearms can work, you can find multiple YouTube videos of #GunFails. People think they are funny. But when people are hurt, they an emotional impact. So we need to tell those stories.

The people who want guns in schools don’t want to tell those stories. they want to tell the ONE story out of 199 incidents where someone with a gun, at the right place and the right time made an impact by KILLING the shooter before they could kill. The 199 people who failed don’t want to talk about their failures. Immediately after school shootings the “Brave First Responders” who “took out the bad guy” stories are run. EVEN IF THEY ARE A LIE.

We need to tell stories of human failures with guns in real life situations to compete with fantasies:

“If we had trained people there they could stop the killing.”
“No they couldn’t. No they won’t. Here are the stories of them failing over and over.”

Not only will the armed teachers and SROs likely never be in an active shooter situation, during the DAYS, MONTHS and YEARS they are carrying a firearm the odds of a negligent discharge and misplacement of a firearm around kids increases.

“But OUR SROs are better!”
Here are the stories of SROs leaving their guns in bathrooms and negligent discharges. They failed over and over in non-active shooter situations too.

Here is the whole clip from Brevard County school board where Connie Rooke, a retired Military police vet with a MA in education talked about the failures of guns in schools.

Listen to the experts.
Arming staff will only make schools more dangerous.
They’re human they make mistakes,
and frankly it happens every single day.”

Connie Rooke, Military police veteran, masters in education

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