In the last 24 hours, President Donald Trump has offered a series of proposals to prevent against another school hitting like the one that claimed 17 lives in Parkland, Florida, last week. None have been as audacious as his idea to arm teachers so that they can respond to a gun-toting invader in real time.
The president has suggested that approximately 20 percentage of teachers be able to carry a obscured weapon in the classroom. Those educators would be trained in the use of firearms so that they could, in Trump’s terms,” immediately fire back if a barbarian sicko came to local schools with bad intents .” As an incentive, Trump added, schools could dedicate teachers who choose to carry weapons a bonus for doing so.
It’s unclear who would pay for this all and–more importantly–whether it would be effective or counterproductive. What is clear, nonetheless, is the impact it would have on teachers. The Daily Beast asked educators what they would do if they or their colleagues were asked to carry handguns in their classrooms. None supported the idea. Many, in fact, said they’d cease teaching.
Here are some of their( lightly edited) responses:
Katie Murray, a New York City Catholic school teacher
The shooting at Sandy Hook frightened all of us, students included. One of my third grade boys that year said hearing about the kids who died,” stimulated( his) heart injured .” I took it upon myself to rearrange the bookshelves in my classroom to create hiding places and obstacles should anything ever happen. Imagine that. Billions (?) of dollars being run into our military and national its safety and I &# x27; m constructing a bookshelf fort( fitted with volumes I’ve bought with my own fund) to safeguard my students from being murdered with assault rifles.
The idea of having a handgun in my classroom or any of my coworkers’ classrooms induces me sick. It’s incredibly irresponsible and frankly it’s insane. In 2017 there were over 2,000 accidental shootings. I can only imagine what that number would be if firearms were allowed in schools. Like I said, I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation in 2018.
I love my job, I desire my coworkers, I love my children, I enjoy their own families. But if arming teachers ever became mandatory I’d walk away from it all. I’d leave behind the hundred or so books I’ve bought for my classroom library, the posters and worksheets and plays I’ve made, the medals and supplies I’ve bought, the lesson programs I’ve slaved over, all of it.
High school special educational teacher who requested he remain anonymous
I served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003 -2 007, I worked my way through college as a paid-on-call firefighter, and for the past 7 years I’ve worked as a special education educator in the resource side and with students with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities on the life-skills side.
I’ve been through executive security courses as a Marine when I worked for the II MEF Commanding General.[ As a firefighter] I responded to vehicle accidents, flames that turned out to be slaughter/ arson scenes, and a variety of other emergency bellows. On newspaper I’d be an ideal candidate for being an armed teacher, but I would quit immediately if I was told I was going to carry a weapon at school.
As a high school special education teacher, my job carries a variety of responsibilities. One interval I might be working with a student on factoring/ foiling quadratic equations and in another period I’m working with students on reading with depict supports. My daily routine includes problem solving social skills with students, changing diapers, supporting students to complete their writing assignments, communicating with parents, advance monitoring towards IEP goals/ objectives, explaining their rights as citizens, assisting with medical needs( seizures/ insulin/ asthma/ etc .) and a variety of other random chores … I don’t need to add another concern of a student reaching for my weapon to the listing of a 1,000 things going through my brain as I work with a kid in close proximity. If one of my students with a serious disability has a meltdown over a altered in their schedule I should be able to focus on that student and not have to worry about my weapon.
Lisa Witlen, a former educator in New Jersey
I am a retired high school math teach. I would have quit before ever allowing myself to be trained to have a gun in school. I was a teacher incurred in relation to teach my students math , not hired as an armed sentry.
Tory Logsdon, an 8th grade social analyzes teacher in Genoa, Illinois
I am a public school teacher at a public school. I am also an Army veteran. I am against teaches being armed in large-scale proportion because it is only a Band-Aid approach to a much larger difficulty and it allows government and federal govt to pass the buck – to avoid what is in their power and responsibly to fixing. Stop involving teachers to do more than they should. If there is an active shooter, responsibility will be to save and safeguard as many students as is practicable and to be with them in our joint moment of terror.
Peter Hay, a former educator and veteran . strong>
Arming teachers is an idea so dumb. 1) More artilleries in any equation equals more demise , not less. 2) The number of hours a educator stops a mass murder with his gun will be dwarfed by the number of periods a teach kills a fellow staff member or student, intentionally or otherwise. 3) Teach and Secret Service agent are tasks that aren’t conducive to one another; it will just attain them bad at both occupations. 4) Teach are already underpaid, lack resources and furnishes, and subject to unjust criticism. This would uncover them to new high levels of blame for jobs that shouldn’t be theirs, but have become so only because the rest of society maintenances passing the problem on.
Aashish Parekh, a teacher in Washington D.C . strong>
I have no idea how much period, money and resources it would take to teach a educator how to shoot, store and carry a handgun, but I imagine a lot. You and I know both know how busy a teacher’s schedule, how many hours and weekends we put in to our occupation. When the inferno are we going to find the time to get developed? Just to give you new ideas how busy I am: I schedule my own bathroom day during the school day. Not kidding. I guarantee you, you would ensure mass protests, strikes and stoppages before many of us agree to carry a firearm in a classroom … with kids!
Mason Burns, a recent college prof
I am wildly opposed to teaches being asked to take on the additional responsibility for numerous reasons. First, education has always been collaborative, and students knowing I was armed would undermine that relationship. Second, the presence of handguns leads to an ever increasing likelihood of accidental artillery related issues/ fatalities … even among trained individuals. Third, my spouse said she would divorce me if I started carrying a handgun. And fourth, perhaps most importantly, this isn’t what I signed up for. Police policemen and military join knowing firearms are integral. If guns become the norm among teaches, the type of person who seek academic jobs with change. I would posit, for the worse.