Eleven months after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead, a state commission of grieving parents, law enforcement leaders, mental health experts, and state politicians arrived at a stark conclusion: Teachers should carry guns to protect students.
The commission, established to investigate gaps in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s security infrastructure, isn’t alone. Since Parkland, scores of American school districts across the country — including many in poor and rural areas — have quietly adopted new policies to arm teachers or school staff.
At least 215 school districts across the U.S. have adopted such policies since last February, a VICE News review of state and local policies has found. Nationwide, at least 466 districts now allow school staff to be armed, encompassing hundreds of thousands of students of all ages.