HARRISBURG (April 19, 2017) — Legislation the Senate Education Committee approved today to arm teachers and school support staff in public schools is misguided and would make students less safe, Pennsylvania State Education Association President Jerry Oleksiak said today.
“Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers – their job is to educate children and act as role models.
“PSEA is not opposed to the use of appropriately trained and armed school safety personnel in schools, like the school safety officers that some districts employ. What our Association does oppose is arming teachers, education support professionals, and other school staff.
“This legislation would create more problems for first responders arriving at the scene of an armed confrontation, making it more difficult to immediately distinguish a perpetrator from a school employee.
“PSEA is for strategies that keep students safe. This bill doesn’t keep students safe. That’s why we oppose it.”
Oleksiak is a special education teacher in the Upper Merion Area School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 180,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.