Stop the rallies! Stop the protests! A Pennsylvania school district has come up with the answer to gun violence in schools!
I've recently learned from an article on USA today that the Millcreek Township School District in Pennsylvania is arming 500 school teachers with baseball bats in order to protect the school when a shooter comes a'knocking. The district ordered 600 bats that cost them about $1,800 and according to the article, another PA school district is arming teachers and students with buckets of rocks...
Ok, there are just SO MANY things wrong with that.
First of all, let's let teachers be teachers. They were hired to mold young minds, not bludgeon their heads in. If you have $1,800 lying around in your budget maybe consider getting, I don't know, some better security?
Second, kids with rocks? Seriously, have you ever met a kid? What do you think they're going to do with a bucket of rocks during a boring school day or if they get into a fight?
If you are training impressionable children and teenagers to think that throwing rocks at a person is not only safe but also the proper way for self-defense... well, let's just hope there's some money left over in your budget to give your school nurses a raise.
If we are entertaining and financially endorsing wildly outlandish and unsafe practices to combat gun control with other forms of violence, let me put forth my idea that I once thought was silly, but now it's looking pretty genius.
My plan not only prevents guns from being brought into the school at the first place, but it also combats the underlying mental health issues that kids who resort to gun violence face. And it isn't dangerous for kids.
That's right, dogs! They've always been the unsung heroes of the world, now we just need more of them!
Really, hear me out: each school in a district would have two dogs, both trained to sniff out guns and explosives. They would both be "on duty" when the kids are dropped off every morning and again at the end of the day.
After the initial arrival of students in the morning, the dogs would take shifts throughout the day. One dog would stay "on duty" in uniform and roam around the school with its human and the other would be "off duty" in the guidance counselor's office where any kid who was troubled could go play with the dog as pet therapy. The dogs would rotate throughout the school day so neither one has to work the entire day and both get a healthy mix of work and play!
One of the main reasons why people turn to gun violence in schools is because they feel ostracized from social circles and groups.... dogs will never not love you! It's unconditional! Studies that have been done about pet therapy by UCLA Health have shown that the simple act of petting a dog increases relaxation and reduces loneliness and anxiety. Having a dog "off duty" in the office to pet while speaking with a counselor is a healthy way to let lonely kids feel loved while they get the help that they need!
While one dog is in the office, the other dog who is "on duty" will be patrolling the school and checking anyone who comes in after the regular drop-off hours in the morning for weapons.
Now, I understand that this alternative might be more expensive than baseball bats and buckets of rocks, but it's a better option than arming teachers and children. A kid in school should only be responsible for being a student- not a security guard or a hero.
Instead of teaching kids that violence is a part of school life and that they are responsible to fight back in the face of violence, why not just let them learn and take measures to help them grow emotionally as well as intellectually. Believe it or not, hitting people with bats and stoning enemies does not help emotional or intellectual development.
Teaching children that violence is the best form of self-defense and making kids responsible for their own protection while in school is wrong. In a debate about gun laws, rights, and violence, shouldn't we be focused on prevention and safety rather than training children as combatants? Schools should be responsible for keeping kids safe, kids shouldn't have to be faced with the responsibility of being a hero.
Save kids, get dogs.