Florida school shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s suggestion of arming teachers and school staff with weapons to enhance school safety was a “terrible idea.”
“I don’t know if Donald Trump has ever been to a public high school, but as far as I’m aware, teachers are meant to be educators,” Calderon told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight.”
“They’re meant to teach young minds how to work in the real world. They are not meant to know how to carry AR-15s. They are not meant to know how to put on Kevlar vests for the other students or themselves,” the 16-year-old said.
Calderon continued to argue that arming teachers is not the answer for school safety.
“This is not what we stand for,” said the junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “We stand for small policy changes and maybe possibly big ones in the future. Because, right now, I am pretty sick of having to talk about teachers being armed. Because that is not even a possibility in my mind. I would never want to see my teachers have to do that and neither do they want to do that.”
Trump pledged to look “very strongly” at the proposal for arming educators, the President said at the White House Wednesday after listening to a series of emotional stories and pleas to enhance school safety
“If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” he said, stating that schools could arm up to 20% of their teachers to stop “maniacs” who may try and attack them.
“This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone,” Trump said. “Gun-free zone to a maniac – because they’re all cowards – a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’ “
Sen. Marco Rubio said at the CNN town hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action that he does not support arming teachers with weapons
“The notion that my kids are going to school with teachers that are armed with a weapon is not something that, quite frankly, I’m comfortable with,” he said.
Dan Merica and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.