Rose Davis, 47, who lives in Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood and helps care for her two young grandchildren, said she supports the idea of having armed school resource officers in schools. Her neighborhood is beset by gang violence, and she worries about it spilling into schools.
“With the things going on today, you really don’t feel secure,” she said.
Even those who support the proposal, however, questioned how practical it would be.
“The real question is sustainability,” said Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland-based consulting firm National School Safety and Security Services. “In the long haul, how are you going to fund that?”
But Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions, called the NRA’s idea “irresponsible and dangerous.”
“Schools must be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses,” she said.
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that posting armed guards outside schools wouldn’t make classrooms safer or encourage learning.
“You can’t make this [school] an armed camp for kids,” he said.
Jacina Haro, a college educator from Malden, Mass., and the mother of two young children, said the solution shouldn’t be about having more guns in schools.
“Schools shouldn’t be about guns,” said the 38-year-old. “It should be a safe place to learn, free from weapons and the like. I understand wanting to protect our children, but I don’t know if that’s the right solution. It’s a scary solution.”