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Why Not to Arm Teachers

Persuasive Speech Outline

General Purpose: To persuade

Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience to sign a petition urging our government not to arm teachers with weapons.

Thesis: Arming teachers would undermine the sense of a safe learning environment, take valuable funds away from necessary school resources, and increase the risks of accidental gunfire.

I. The Attention Step

A. Attention: Would arming teachers be an effective solution to school shooting? Due to the surge in school shootings that have occurred in the recent years, legislators and the American people have been asking their selves whether doing this would make a difference in these shootings. But, would arming teachers actually make schools safer?

B. Significance: Placing guns within our schools could immensely impact how our school’s function and their performance.

C. Relevance: Our students are the future of our society. We must think critically about the risks and the effectiveness huge changes like this could have on our educational system.

D. Credibility: As someone who’s pursuing an Education major and has four months of experience in a childcare center, I have an understanding of the classroom setting as well as experience handling children. I have also researched about this topic for many hours.

E. Thesis: Arming teachers would undermine the sense of a safe learning environment, take valuable funds away from necessary school resources, and increase the risks of accidental gunfire.

F. Preview: For the next couple of minutes, I’ll be discussing how firearms on school grounds negatively impacts schools, a solution, and what you can do to prevent this.

II. The Need Step

A. First Main Point The presence of firearms compromises the sense of a safe, supportive learning environment for students and educators.

  1. The responsibility of carrying a firearm puts stress upon the teacher to make sure it is properly maintained, secured, and stored. This stress can translate over into the classroom, making students feel tense.
  2. Arming teachers will decrease student’s ability to connect and trust their school.
  3. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, overemphasis on extreme security measures, such as using metal detectors and arming school staff, undermines student perception of the school’s ability to ensure safety and an effective learning environment. (National Association of School Psychologists)

B. Second Main Point Equipping educators with firearms takes funding away from the necessary supplies and resources schools need to ensure students achieve their highest potential for learning.

  1. According to Director Michael Hansen of governance studies at Brown Center, arming 10-20% of teachers, would cost an estimated $250 million to provide for the guns and to regularly train those teachers. This does not include whether the teacher’s pay would increase due to the added responsibilities. Depending on whether or not they do, the cost could easily increase to about $650 million or higher. (Hansen 2018)

  2. Many schools throughout the United Stated currently struggle to provide an adequate amount of supplies and resources necessary for students as it is already due to the lack of funds.

  3. Most of the time, whatever supplies the schools are unable to afford, the cost falls back onto the teachers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 92% of teachers in the United States spend their own money to provide classroom supplies that are necessary. The average amount these teachers spend on supplies is about $450. (National Center for Education Statistics)

C. Third Main Point The chances of accidental gunfire increase with firearms present on school grounds.

  1. According to Every Town Research Organization, the majority of unintentional shootings of children are either self-inflicted or from other children due to the gun not being properly secured. (Every Town Research)

  2. There is also the risk of the firearm of being lost, stolen, or accidently discharged. Between 2014-2016, the Department of Homeland Security reported its personnel lost totaling to 228 firearms. If trained professionals are able to have these kinds of losses, then schools may experience similar accidents which would be potentially catastrophic in a place full of young children. (Violence Policy Center 2018)

  3. For instance, four children ages six to eight found a loaded gun in a bathroom at a Pennsylvania elementary school. Luckily, the children immediately reported it, and no one was injured but not every incident turns out this way. (CBS News 2016)

[Now that I have discussed the issues of arming teachers, I’d now like share my solution that would be more effective in preventing gun violence in schools.]

III. The Satisfaction Step

A. First Main Point The first component of my solution is to improve the access of mental health professionals at schools to meet the mental health needs of students and provide threat assessments for those at risk of harming themselves or others.

B. Second Main Point Secondly, schools need to improve their collaboration between school staff, school-employed mental health providers, law enforcement, and other first responders to ensure at risk students receive early intervention along with the support that they need.

IV. The Visualization Step

A. First Main Point I’d like you all to imagine what it would be like if our schools placed this solution into effect. That we encouraged mental health awareness instead of placing firearms in the classroom. That we encouraged students to speak up about how they are feeling or about what they have been hearing among their peers. I believe it would be a great sight to see our schools, mental health providers, and officers all working together to ensure that students not only feel comfortable going to school but also feel that they can trust and rely on their school when they need to.

V. The Action Step

A. Brief Summary Overall, arming teachers would negatively impact our schools learning environment, budget, and safety. There are more effective ways of protecting our schools such as increasing student’s access to mental health professionals and improving communications between them to make sure student get the support they need.

B. Physical Action Today, I would like to urge you all to sign this petition urging legislators to not arm our teachers due to the impacts it would have our schools. We need to make our schools safer, but arming teachers wouldn’t be an effective way of doing so.

C. Facilitate Action I strongly encourage you all to go to this website and sign this petition. I sincerely hope that we can all work together to make sure we keep our educators and students safe in an effective and less aggressive way. Stopping this from being implemented in our schools would help to avoid unnecessary gun violence and accidents.

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