Feb 21, 2018

14 teachers have been killed on the job since 2012

A memorial to Aaron Feis, the football coach of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who was among the 17 killed there on Feb. 14. Photo: Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post / Getty

The three high school teachers killed a week ago in Parkland, FL, made it 14 teachers and staff who have lost their lives in school shootings over the last six years, according to a count by Axios using the raw data at Everytown Research. At least 15 more have been injured.

Quick take: Nowhere on the planet have such shootings occurred with anywhere near the frequency as the U.S. While students and parents across the country are grieving with the Parkland victims and survivors, a root of the conversation since then is visceral apprehension of what could happen on any campus in the country, on any day.

  • While posted in danger spots abroad as a foreign correspondent I, like hundreds of other reporters, was sent for week-long training in how to respond in violent situations such as shootings, bombings and kidnappings.
  • I asked Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, whether teachers should have similar training, in addition to the lockdown preparation they already undergo. She rejected the idea:

"No one, even when you get combat training, you are not prepared for an assault on you. No one is going to be prepared for someone walking in with an AR-15 in a school, a church, and what that man did in Las Vegas," she said.

The AFT has issued a call to action to oppose efforts to arm teachers. Guns are "absolutely antithetical to schools," she said. But something must be done to protect teachers, she said: "Teachers are naked. They are shielding kids. That is not what any of us or students signed up for."

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