John Moffatt’s opinions on school safety are informed by his own experience as a survivor of the 1986 school shooting at Fergus High School in Lewistown, Montana.
Moffatt was an assistant principal there when a 14-year-old student who had just shot and killed a substitute teacher met him unexpectedly in the hallway. The student shot him twice. The first shot went into Moffatt’s abdomen and the second—aimed toward his head—grazed his hand.
Moffatt is one of many educators who’ve joined new efforts to organize against state legislation that would relax gun laws, allowing more teachers and staff to arm themselves in schools. Having a gun that day would not have made his students any safer, he says.
Supporters of such bills, which I covered in a recent story, say they would give willing teachers and staff members another tool to protect students, particularly in rural areas with slow law enforcement response times.
Education Week‘s video team dives deeper into Moffatt’s story in this video piece.
Related reading on school shootings and school safety:
- Newtown Debates Letter Asking Trump to Denounce Sandy Hook ‘Truthers’
- Policing America’s Schools, An Education Week Analysis
- Sandy Hook Panel: Schools Must Address Mental Health, Social, Emotional Issues
- School Shootings: Sandy Hook Promise Ad Shares Warning Signs for Gun Violence
- Sandy Hook Shooter’s Needs Went Unmet by Schools and Parents, Report Concludes
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.