More than 30 mishaps from armed adults at schools, review finds
They are the “good guys with guns” the National Rifle Association says are needed to protect students from shooters: a school police officer, a teacher who moonlights in law enforcement, a veteran sheriff.
Yet in a span of 48 hours in March, the three were responsible for gun safety lapses that put students in danger.
The school police officer accidentally fired his gun in his Virginia office, sending a bullet through a wall into a middle school classroom. The teacher was demonstrating firearm safety in California when he mistakenly put a round in the ceiling, injuring three students who were hit by falling debris. And the sheriff left a loaded service weapon in a locker room at a Michigan middle school, where a sixth-grader found it.
All told, an Associated Press review of news reports collected by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive revealed more than 30 publicly reported mishaps since 2014 involving firearms brought onto school grounds by law enforcement officers or educators. Guns went off by mistake, were fired by curious or unruly students, and were left unattended in bathrooms and other locations.
“If this can happen with a highly trained police officer, why would we give teachers guns?” interim superintendent Lois Berlin of the Alexandria, Virginia, school system asked after the incident involving the officer whose accidental discharge put a bullet through a wall at George Washington Middle School. He was placed on leave and is under investigation.
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