After the school shooting in Florida, I made the huge mistake of posting on Facebook regarding the comments President Trump made about arming teachers. I was disturbed by what he said, because I am a teacher, and I do not ever want to be armed in school. He said (and this is not a direct quote, just paraphrasing here) that teachers love their students and we should be armed we love our students, and that we’d kill to protect them. The problem with that thought process is that most school shooters are students or former students. If a student is expelled, in my mind, he or she is still my student. Could I potentially kill one of my students? No, I don’t think I could. Trained police didn’t go in to the school in Florida and start shooting. Why do people think that I could or would?
Okay, suppose there are trained, armed teachers in a school and there is a school shooting. What happens to the teacher who accidentally shoots and kills another student while trying to stop the shooter? Are they going to be prepared to deal with the emotional fallout from killing an innocent student or co-worker? Somehow, I doubt it. What about the police who do rush into the school in the case of a school shooting and accidentally kill a teacher with a gun who was “protecting his/her students?” How are they supposed to differentiate from school shooter or trained staff member? I don’t think school shooters come with signs. Oh wait, I know. First, I’ll lock and barricade my door. Then I’ll get the kids into the safest part of the room. Then I’ll get out my gun which would be locked up in a secure place, then I’ll put on my day-glow orange vest that says I’m a staff member with a gun, don’t kill me. You know, the vest that will probably be available on the internet that the school shooter will also be wearing.
Now I realize that they probably wouldn’t arm me, and it would be teacher choice. I’ve already made my choice abundantly clear. But suppose the teacher down the hall, who is a horrible, horrific teacher chooses to go through the proposed training and now has access to a weapon in school. They’re proposing paying this teacher more money because of that gun. It doesn’t matter that they are a terrible teacher, they agreed to carry a gun, so they get more money. Yeah that makes sense to me.
I have friends on Facebook who are pro-gun. I have friends on Facebook who love to hunt and kill. Now these friends frequently post pictures of their hobbies. That’s fine, it’s a free country, what they’re doing is legal. All is well. Now, I am not pro-gun (for me) and I am not a hunter. So, I choose to just bypass their posts that show them participating in those activities. They love it, that’s fine. I don’t, that’s fine, but I RESPECT their right to do what they love and share on social media. Why then, can’t they extend me the same courtesy. I’m not saying we should take away their guns. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to hunt. They however feel the need to come on my post and tell me how wrong I am because arming teachers would make everything all better. Not me. I’m unarmed and I’m okay with it.
One more little side diatribe. I love how kids are stepping up and saying this has got to stop. They are speaking out and letting them know that their lives matter. All our lives do. Many students are planning a peaceful protest/school walk out to take a stand. And many school districts are apparently talking about suspending kids that do so. Kudos to the colleges and universities that are stepping up and saying the admission of students will not be impacted by any suspensions issued to them for protesting gun violence. And shame on the adults who are saying these kids ae merely puppets saying/doing what adults are telling them to do. And shame on the adults who are trying to put this back on the kids by telling them if they were just nicer to students this wouldn’t happen. Should kids be nicer to one another? Absolutely yes! Will that stop mentally unstable people from getting guns and committing atrocious acts? No I don’t think so.
Changes need to be made, and one change that does not need to be made is giving me a gun. I’m unarmed, and that’s ok.