I spent 13 years teaching public school in Philadelphia’s roughest neighborhoods and I can tell you from experience that asking teachers to carry a firearm is the worst possible idea. If you want suicides from teachers having meltdowns, increased shootings in schools when kids steal guns, and the wrong people carrying – then go for it. Or you can be more logical and use my years of experience to show you why teachers carrying guns would not work out for majority of public schools.
Some teachers are out of shape. If a teacher has a gun in a classroom, but they’re too out of shape to handle it properly or react quickly in the event of a shooter, then what? What happens if the teacher accidentally places their gun on their desk, and a much faster student runs over and steals it? They could shoot someone or their own self. Someone who fails a physical test should not carry a firearm in a classroom.
Some teachers aren’t all there mentally. They’re overworked, lack sleep, and can barely keep their eyes open without four gallons of coffee. They often take the blame for everything, do everyone’s job, and nothing is ever good enough in the eyes of many principals and administrators. If there’s a job where some people want to call it quits, then this is it. We would see an increase in teacher suicides the moment we put the weapon in their hand. Teaching requires educators to be adaptable to their students and settings, but some people can’t do it. They want to, but it’s not for everyone.
Some teachers are smug white liberals who have meltdowns when they see a picture of Donald Trump. If a picture of someone they dislike is all it takes for them to be “triggered,” then I wouldn’t trust them behind a real trigger. One teacher shot at a picture of him on a screen. Another teacher told her students that shirts about Trump were not allowed in school. That’s feelings over facts and not a good combination when it comes to firearms and safety.
Not every teacher wants a gun because not everyone wants that responsibility to murder someone. They want to teach math, reading, science, band camp, etc. – not to shoot people. There’s nothing in the lesson plans about shooting an intruder. There’s nothing at the professional development meetings that tell teachers how to feel after they kill someone. Teachers can and will do it, but they shouldn’t be given that responsibility. They shouldn’t get to that point where they have to engage a shooter. They should know how to defend themselves, but asking them to carry a gun in a classroom is not the solution.
Some people asked who would buy the guns? The administration of many public districts spend their funding in questionable ways, leaving many schools understaffed and without supplies and activities for students. Who pays for every teacher to get mental health checks, physicals, and firearm safety and shooting training? I imagine that’s expensive and would take a very long time to complete. Perhaps money could place extra teachers in the classrooms, create more activities, and give students more reasons not to shoot each other. Funding could also be spent improving mental health of the students when they’re in need.
If schools can’t buy pencils and paper, then why would they spend money on firearms and training?
What about the parents who attack teachers? Do we get to a point where the teacher finally defends their own self and shoots the parent? Could you imagine a parent-teacher conference escalating that far?
What about teachers who can’t control their students because they lack classroom management? Should a teacher who can’t control their classroom be trusted with a gun? Some students run the classroom and they would easily overpower a teacher and steal the gun. Then what? Someone gets shot because we put the gun in the classroom? Not a good idea.
We don’t need to arm teachers; we need to protect teachers. Let the teachers do their job while the people who trained for these situations come into buildings and provide security. Why can’t we use local police or National Guard personnel to provide schools with protection? The police and National Guard are already trained in weaponry, tactics, and are generally physically fit. They’re made for this job, so it would be wise to utilize them for defense, rather than asking someone who spends their day making anchor charts to shoot someone.
My suggestion is that every school has at least two armed police officers from the local department. This will provide protection and enhance community relations between the police, students, and staff. We should allow people who are born protectors to do their job, that way the teachers can focus on doing theirs.
Except in Broward County. We don’t want any police from there.
Frank Lea is a freelance writer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.