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Could Arming Teachers Put Students Of Color At Risk?

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In this photo taken July 11, 2013, A firearms instructor, right, guides a Clarksville school teacher during a training session at the city's high school in Clarksville, Ark.
Danny Johnston/AP
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0305revs.mp3

In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Florida state legislature has put forth a proposal to arm and train teachers. President Donald Trump has also expressed support for the idea.

But experts have raised questions about whether the practice could endanger students of color. Studies show that students of color are already facing bias in the classroom, especially in terms of discipline: A 2014 report from the Department of Education revealed that black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students. What happens if a gun is added to the equation?

Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined "Boston Public Radio" to discuss this issue. Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist and the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail, and Price is a professor and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

"Teachers carry microaggressions and biases. What bothers me about it is we already have a pipeline from school to jail. We will just have a much faster one if we arm teachers with guns," said Reverend Irene Monroe. 

Price said teachers needing to arm themselves on top of managing their classrooms will push many out of the profession.

"The challenge of trying to focus on your priorities in a classroom would be so difficult if you had to think through a triage [situation]," Price said. "You're going to disinvite a lot of talented, skilled, and experienced teachers from doing their vocational calling because you're adding the extra burden."

Click the audio player above to hear more from "All Revved Up."

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