Arming teachers in Harford County is too costly, requires training [Letter]

Editor:

The problems with arming teachers are legion. But the most problematic one for me is that to be effective, an armed staff member must have police level training. That takes 16 to 18 weeks with retraining every few months. An armed person working for a municipality must have the training to satisfy insurance requirements. Moreover, there must be a police level certification as this person will need to make life or death choices.

Add to that the cost of a weapon and the training that must be mandated. There also is a requirement that time must be spent on the shooting range at least once a month to pass proficiency requirements. Since school districts cannot even afford to pay for paper, ink, retirements or even adequate salaries, it would be ludicrous to think they could afford arming teachers or that the state would pay for it. So the whole question is moot.

HCPS costs to arm teachers (corrected):

- There are 9,948 school-based staff. At least a fourth of them would need to be armed as an effective deterrent to a school invasion: that would be 2,487 staff total.

- Teachers make $58,000 median salary which is $305 daily.

- These teachers would need to be paid a bonus as suggested by Trump. A fair bonus would be $10,000 in order to put your life on the line. But just for argument’s sake let’s say $5,000 x 2,487 = $12,435,000 (annual cost).

- 16 weeks training at (112 days) $5,264 = $84,955,920 (one time cost but assuming 25 percent dropout every year that would be $21,268,980 annually).

- 10 days shooting range plus 10 days substitutes ($89.92+$305 daily= $389) = $9,674,430 (annually).

- Glock 26 9mm $ $500 x 2,487= $1,243,500 (one time cost); there will be upkeep and repair costs that I will not figure in for now.

- 9mm ammunition - 1,000 rounds Federal Fussion MSR 147 grain or Speer gold dot 147 grain $23.00/50 $460 =$1,144,020 (annual cost).

- The first year will cost Harford County citizens about $109,452,870 and $44,522,430 every year thereafter.

- Add to that each school will need to buy insurance to cover accidents, loses of guns, etc. That will be astronomical to say the least.

- And I am not counting the cost of hardening a school with bulletproof doors and windows either, but I think you get my point.

To protect students, school need:

- School psychologists who have time to work with troubled students rather than concentrate on tests.

- School counselors to help build skills to prevent violence and have meaningful discussions with students about their futures.

- Social workers who can help students and their families in times of crises.

- School nurses that are accessible to every student.

- Provide smaller class sizes that allow teachers time to get to know individual students and their families.

- Provide teachers with more time for teaching and less time for meaningless standardized testing.

- Provide community schools that are hubs of educational, cultural, social, medical and civic partnerships that improve the entire community.

Gary Ambridge

Bel Air

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