It struck me as a Saturday Night Live sketch done poorly and in bad taste.
You’ve heard it many time this week, I’m sure.
- “Arm teachers in schools to prevent in school violence.”
- “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”
- and more
The thought about teachers carrying firearms in schools scares the hell out of me. From a realistic point of view, I just find it bizarre to think that, in a system where teachers are buying classroom supplies out of pocket, the added cost of weapons and training people in the effective and efficient use of them, this is a good expenditure of money.
I try to picture how it would affect me in my classroom.
- I always removed my suit jacket, loosened my tie, rolled up my shirt sleeves a bit, put my keys and wallet in my desk drawer because I hated to have anything constrict me as I moved about doing what I do. How would I embrace a holster and a weapon? How could I conceal it comfortably?
- My classroom and the hallway outside it had concrete blocks. I could see an errant shot just ricocheting until it hit something – intended or not.
- Maybe I watch too much television or movies, but the police officers that are efficient in taking down their targets wear vests, and are typically sitting at the top of a building across the street with their gun sights carefully aimed at their target awaiting for an instruction from a supervisor to shoot.
- I’ve seen many an episode where the bad guy gets shot by a police officer and it’s called “Death by Cop”. I’m not prepared to be the test case for “Death by Teacher”.
- How could I ever live with myself if the worst ever happened? There are so many ways that things could go wrong by me, never mind a mistake made by the teacher in the classroom next door.
- Or maybe I wouldn’t have to be armed in the classroom. Perhaps an “on call” period would involve going to the office to pick up a gun like we do currently to pick up supply lesson plans and then head out to patrol the halls.
- In a situation, when police enter the building, how do I identify myself as one of the good guys with a gun as opposed to the bad guy with a gun?
The list could go on forever.
I actually thought that I had an idea for a solution. You know those shopping carts that automatically lock when you leave the store? What if the reverse was applied in schools? As soon as you walk into a school, something disables any firearm. There are lots of flaws in that – everything would have to be refitted to work and there are all kinds of other scenarios that would replace events happening inside the school.
I’m hoping that, with all this discussion, there will be things happening.
All the hot talk about arming teachers just isn’t feasible but it’s brought people into the conversation more than ever. It may well have the opposite effect if changes are to be made.
The best thing that comes from this is listening to the students that have been affected and are now using social media so effectively and they speak so eloquently when they have the opportunity on regular media. The kids have really got it and they seem to have the will to keep it up. Will they ultimately be heard?
Let people hear the voice of reason. Ask any student and I doubt that they would offer professional learning for their teachers to become better gun shooters. The competencies that they want in their teachers are to become better at teaching and engagement. My thoughts and feelings go out to friends and colleagues in the US who are going to work listening to all this and wondering if their professional lives are about to change.