Florida teacher who sheltered dozens of students lays out a simple explanation for why arming faculty won't work

Screenshot via CNNAshley Kurth, a teacher at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, asked Sen. Marco Rubio a question at a CNN town hall on gun violence on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
  • A Florida teacher who survived last week’s mass shooting pointed out a major problem that would have risen if she was armed during the attack.
  • President Donald Trump and others have recently advocated for arming trained teachers with concealed weapons to both halt and deter shootings.
  • The teacher said the SWAT team that rescued her students immediately asked if anyone was armed – and that the situation could have ended badly if she was carrying a weapon.

A Florida culinary teacher who sheltered 65 students in her classroom during last week’s mass shooting gave a simple, but compelling explanation for why faculty shouldn’t be armed and expected to fire at an active shooter.

Ashley Kurth, 34, asked Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida during CNN’s town hall on Wednesday night whether she was now expected to “serve and protect” in addition to her responsibilities educating students.

She then pointed out a major logistical problem any teacher in a similar mass shooting situation would encounter once authorities arrived.

“The first thing that happened when the SWAT team came in – the first question they asked was, ‘Is anybody injured?’ And the following question was, ‘Does anybody have a gun?'” she said. “And I wouldn’t want to be the person saying, ‘Yes, I do.'”

Rubio said he firmly opposed the idea of arming teachers, adding that he would be uncomfortable sending his own children to school under those circumstances.

“I agree with you, yes ma’am,” Rubio said. “Imagine in the middle of this crisis, and the SWAT team comes into the building, and there’s an adult with the weapon in their hands, and the SWAT team doesn’t know who is who, and we have an additional tragedy that was unnecessary.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested during a White House listening session with survivors that arming trained teachers with concealed weapons could both stop and deter attacks.

“If you had a teacher who is adept at firearms, it could very well end the attack very quickly,” Trump said. “I think they wouldn’t go into the schools to start off with – I think it could very well solve your problem.”

Trump repeated that call on Thursday morning in a series of tweets, clarifying that he wanted to “look at the possibility of giving ‘concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best.”

He added that school shootings typically last just minutes, but it takes first responders slightly longer to arrive at shooting scenes.

In the Florida shooting, for instance, alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz fired for roughly seven minutes before ditching his weapons and blending into a crowd of fleeing students.

It’s unclear exactly how long it took police to arrive, but the school already had an armed officer on campus who never encountered the shooter, authorities said.

“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school,”Trump tweeted. “Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defence alone won’t work!”

Watch a clip of Kurth’s exchange with Rubio below:

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