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The student news site of Atlantic High School


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Iowa Arming Educators

Educators and students reflect on the impact educators carrying firearms would hold on ACSD after recent proposed legislation.
Adisyn Schmitz
Mrs. Pauley teaches the Chemistry class. Pauley teaches AP Chemistry, Chemistry, and Physics at AHS.

Following the Perry High School shooting, Iowa proposed a bill to permit educators to carry firearms, should a school choose to participate and arm its educators. This file was swiftly stopped in the Iowa Senate. However, the proposition of this legislation still gave Iowa a chance to reflect on the possibility of bringing guns into classrooms. AHS educators and students reflected on the impact guns would have had in classrooms.

Science teacher Anna Pauley pondered the proposed bill. She believes that the outcome with the weapon would rely on who has one. “I can see it being a conflicting idea,” she said. Pauley sees both sides of the situation and is worried about what the outcome could be. “If a student got a hold of it, it could turn out a little dicey,” Pauley said.

Junior Nick Anderson analyzed the impact the legislation could have had in Iowa. “I think on the one hand it could lead to some students feeling safer, on the other hand, some students could feel unsafe,” Anderson said. He believes that although teachers “shouldn’t have guns,” educators would be more able to protect students in cases of emergency. However, Anderson ensured that “I would not feel safe in a room with a gun,” he said.

I would not feel safe in a room with a gun.

— Nick Anderson

Industrial Technology teacher Dexter Dodson focused on the force behind the bill. “I think it would be a good thing if it was the right person who was trained correctly,” Dodson said. If the bill had passed, Dodson would consider being an educator in the Atlantic Community School District with a firearm. He said, “I’d like to be a person who could provide safety or deter someone from making a bad decision.” 

Senior Addie Welsh wondered what would have happened in Iowa with the implementation of this legislation. “The fact that we even consider having teachers with guns is kind of terrifying,” said Welsh. Welsh believes that there is a further necessity for more restrictions on firearms, not further distribution. Welsh said, “It’s just going to add another weapon to a situation where the weapon is the problem.”

I’d like to be a person who could provide safety or deter someone from making a bad decision.

— Dexter Dodson

Spanish teacher Trisha Niceswanger contemplated the cause of the bill. She worries about what would have happened with the passing of the bill. “I understand the intention,” she said, “but I think it would be very difficult to implement safely.” Niceswanger thinks that it would add extra stress and pressure on educators with firearms to act in a necessary situation. “As an educator in 2024, my mind has had to anticipate more potential outcomes than I would ever like to, so it would definitely put my mind at a heightened awareness of what could happen,” she said.

AHS took the time to inspect the impacts weaponry could have within schools, and how it could impact the dynamics between students and educators within a district. This truly leaves the question to the individual; would you feel safer in a school with guns?

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About the Contributor
Alix Nath
Alix Nath, AHS Needle Editor
Alix Nath is a junior editor for the senior magazine and AHS Needle who likes to “dabble in a little bit of everything”, including The Javelin. Nath credits their brother Felix Nath, a 2022 AHS graduate, as the biggest inspiration for why they joined the journalism program. Nath’s proudest journalism accomplishment is their work on the senior magazine during their sophomore year. They made several writing contributions, major edits that aided the production of the magazine, and felt “really proud of how [the senior magazine] ended up because of the effort everyone put into it.” Nath’s journalism work strives to capture the “things you wouldn’t normally see,” shining extra light on the behind-the-scene processes of well-known events. Their tendency to dabble goes further than journalism. Nath is an active participant in AHS theatre - usually working as crew or tech, - speech and debate, concert band, marching band as a member of the color guard, and QSA. They draw happiness from school activities as well as their three cats and two dogs. A quote that would describe Nath and their passions best is, “I’m not always the best at things, but I try my best at things.”   By J. Molina

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