Video – 2016 CHDS Thesis Series. Catherine Jones.

Although the idea of a school shooting strikes fear in the hearts of school administrators, school employees, and parents, there is no agreement on whether arming employees is a sound strategy to counter this threat. There is a wide gap in viewpoints between gun control advocates who want tighter gun control and constitutionalists who believe as strongly in the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Whether or not to implement a weapons policy is an issue every school superintendent or school authority may need to face sooner or later. In this Viewpoints video, Catherine Jones, Director of Risk Management Services for the Kern County CA Superintendent of Schools Office, discusses her Master’s thesis, entitled, “Armed to Learn: Aiming at California K-12 School Gun Policy.” This research does not seek to answer the question of whether school districts should arm their employees, but rather it seeks to provide a framework for each educational agency to explore, contemplate, and determine its course of action based upon risk management principles that take into account the values, goals, and capabilities of the community in which the policy would apply. Possible outcomes include the policy options of MoreGuns (allow teachers to be armed), BanGuns (no one is armed), or SomeGuns (trained security or law enforcement can be armed but not teachers). This research is intended to stand as a resource for stakeholders, such as legislators, parents, and employees, to equip them to engage in the policy debate and to empower their participation in making informed decisions about school district weapons policy.

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Master’s theses, from homeland security students at the Naval Postgraduate School, are available in the Homeland Security Digital Library.

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