Monday, February 26, 2018

10 Reasons Why Teachers Shouldn't Carry Guns In Schools

 As a teacher, I must weigh in on the gun debate gripping our nation. I believe in the Second Amendment to our Constitution. I agree that people should be able to protect themselves and their families from predators, however, I also believe we need to set limitations on the caliber of weapons that end up on our streets. 
Like all Americans, teachers want children to be safe. Our profession demands it and we demand it of ourselves. Teachers spend hours training, collaborating, and soul-searching the best practices for student safety everyday.

At my former school, we conducted fire drills, lock downs, and shelter in place drills every month. Prior to employment, every teacher must pass a Child Abuse Clearance, a Criminal Background Check, and an FBI Clearance. Every year, countless teachers must contact social services to remove students from abusive and neglectful homes.
I do not believe that teachers should bear the responsibility of carrying guns to school. 
Here's why:

1.  Workload    

Teachers are already overworked.  Due to poor parenting, teachers bear a heavy burden disciplining students. (Discipline means to teach.) Not only do they have to instruct students on the basic subjects, many students have to be taught how to behave properly in public, how to use their manners, how tocontrol their anger and aggression, and how to achieve basic human interaction.

2. Scrutiny

Teachers are under a microscope. Everyone has an opinion on teachers. Politicians are constantly blaming teachers and teacher's unions for the state of education in our country. Placing guns in our hands would only make the pressure on us worse. 
The public, the politicians MUST listen to what educators are saying. We haven't received smaller classroom sizes or more funding and the consequences have been devastating. If we say it's not a good idea to arm teachers with guns, people should listen.

3. Student Voice   

Students all across the country are crying out for change. We must listen to them! If the passed two weeks are any indication, the students want gun reform, and that does not include teachers carrying guns to school.

4. Funding    

 Let's be real! How is the government going to fund a program to arm teachers? The cost would be astronomical. Many public schools already go without essential supplies like paper, textbooks, computers, and teachers. What else will need to be cut to achieve arming teachers? What will happen if politicians choose to raise taxes to fund this program?
There are approximately 3.1 million teachers in the United States. President Trump has suggested arming the elite 10-20% of this population with guns. Let's break this down. It's about $400.00 for a low-end handgun, times that by roughly 700,000 educators, and you get $280,000,000.00--and that's without proper training.

5. Expectations

 Do we require bank tellers to protect a bank, in addition to their regular duties? Do we expect regular airport personnel to be armed for our safety?  No, we hire trained security guards to do this because it is a difficult and demanding job.

6.  Overpowering

I hate to break it to you America, but there are many more Nicholas Cruz's sitting in our classrooms right now. What would happen if one of these students overpowered a teacher armed with a gun? It could easily happen.

Remember, a teacher is alone, in the classroom, with at least 30 students, in some cases. A student like Nicholas Cruz would delight in knowing teachers were carrying weapons. It might be seen as a game or a challenge to disarm one of these teachers.

7.  Teacher Error

Teaching is a highly stressful job. So stressful in fact, that the life expectancy rate for teachers has dropped. What happens when a teacher, who has spent at least one school year in a volatile classroom without support, misinterprets a student's body language and shoots the way police officers have done over the years?

8. Disgruntled

What if another educator, teaching under the same circumstances, is having a mental breakdown?

9. Mission Statement

 Teachers are public servants not body guards. Like doctors, a teacher's mission is to nurture and support. Drawing a gun, under chaos, and shooting a moving target accurately, is not in our nature, let alone our job description.

10. Other Options
 One of the most important lessons learned in school is to compromise. The politicians, the NRA, and the citizens of this country need to stop ripping each other apart and engage in meaningful dialogue that focuses on long-term solutions, not belittling a different point of view.

How do you feel about teachers carrying guns in schools?

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