[Preface: UFF and its affiliates, the Florida Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, have consistently opposed efforts to bring more guns on the campuses of universities, colleges and public schools. The president of UFF has testified at Florida legislative hearings to oppose guns on campus and in classrooms]
Terry Spencer, AP, February 11, 2019
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The nation’s two largest education unions reiterated their opposition to arming teachers as a response to school shootings Monday, saying more guns on campuses will make them less safe.
The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association joined with Everytown for Gun Safety to oppose proposals in Florida and elsewhere to arm teachers and staff members in response to the Marjory Stoneman High School massacre, which left 17 dead. The anniversary of the mass shooting is Thursday.
The Florida Legislature is considering a recommendation by the state commission that investigated the shooting to allow school districts to arm volunteer teachers who undergo background checks and training. The commission concluded that relying solely on law enforcement is insufficient because mass shootings are usually over in one to three minutes and police officers likely won’t arrive in time.
But the unions and Everytown say they oppose such measures for several reasons, including the possibility of students stealing teachers’ guns and responding officers confusing an armed teacher for the shooter. They said a study of New York City police officers showed they hit their target about one time in five shots during firefights, and teachers would be even worse. Those errant bullets would further endanger students.
[Preface: UFF believes student learning conditions are faculty working conditions. As a result, we believe the welfare of students are of the utmost importance for any faculty union struggle.]
Haunted by costly degrees and insurmountable student debt, American college students now spend more time working paid jobs than in lectures, the library or studying at home.
The vast majority of current students-85 percent-work while enrolled, according to an HSBC survey published Thursday. Students spend an average of 4.2 hours a day working paid jobs, which is more than double the time they spend in the library, nearly two hours more than they spend in class and 1.4 hours more time than they spend studying at home.
“The economics of the debt crisis have become a major distraction to students’ education,” said John Hupalo, founder and chief executive officer of Invite Education, an education financial planner. “Students’ first priority should be to get value out of their education, not squeezing out hours at a job in order to make money to sustain that education.”
Brian Philip is passionate about gun rights — so much so, he started the UCF Gun Club in 2015.
He said he believes there shouldn’t be laws that restrict gun rights. He argues that fully automatic firearms are no more dangerous than those that are semi automatic and modifications to guns should be legal.
However, when Philip, 25, heard about the 19-year-old UCF student who was arrested Tuesday and accused of having an illegally modified, fully automatic AR-15 in his car on campus, he said his first reaction was, “Wow, this guy’s kinda stupid.”
A freshman GOP legislator from Lake County has revived a bill that would allow some people to carry guns on college campuses — a proposal that has split his party in the past.
State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, said he knows Senate Republicans in the past few years have successfully blocked campus carry bills, including former state Sen. John Thrasher, now president of Florida State University.
But, he said, that was because he felt “many people inhabiting political offices ignore the constitutional rights of their own citizens. They’re afraid of controversy … and they sidestep issues and kill bills considered more controversial.”