Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
teachers who carry concealed handguns, school shootings on American campuses, case against teachers carrying guns at school, case for teachers carrying guns at school, non-lethal suggestions for school safety
Fifteen states in America have laws that allow schools to arm their workforce and legislation to allow teachers to carry a concealed weapon is pending in at least nine other states (Owen, 2018). Still, no studies were found in the literature that listed the challenges and experiences of educators who carry concealed handguns into school buildings. Therefore, it is desirable to conduct research that examines the perspectives of these teachers and school administrators in order to provide information that may be of interest to educational leaders and the wider community.
This qualitative study conducted interviews with six classroom teachers and three school administrators from two schools in a rural district in Colorado. The study results revealed that most of the study participants were concerned about school security before their workforce was armed. They were worried about not having any armed guards at their schools, and the amount of time it would take for the police to reach their campuses in the event of a mass shooting at school. The participants felt that an armed workforce could respond in a timelier manner in the event of a shooting incident at their schools. The participants also indicated that their main challenge carrying a concealed handgun at school was selecting the right clothing to ensure that their weapon remains hidden.
All nine participants had to complete 26 hours of initial firearms training, target practice and three days of classroom evaluations before they were authorized to carry a concealed handgun. They must also attend re-current training each year to be certified to continue carrying a concealed handgun. More than half of the participants had prior experience with guns as three teachers were former members of the military and five others either had experience with firearms or had permits to carry a concealed handgun.
Scudder, Patrick, "Teachers and School Administrators Who Carry Concealed Handguns at School" (2021). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 80.