When I heard Trump's idea of arming teachers I laughed at what a terrible idea this would be. Teachers aren't given enough money to decorate their classroom, let alone be trained to fire a gun. What if a student got ahold of the gun? There were so many reasons that this wouldn't work. But it wasn't until someone asked me how I felt as a future teacher that I realized that this would directly impact me. So as someone who's a future teacher, here are my thoughts on the matter.
**Disclaimer, I do believe that sometimes cops do use their guns in situations where they are not supposed to. I also believe that there should be stricter gun control laws, but for right now I'm focusing on the issue of guns in the classroom. I do not like guns or anyone dying by gun, but IF anyone needs to have one, it should be police officers.**
I want to become a teacher to change lives. I want to help the kids who are completely stuck have their "lightbulb moment" where everything finally clicks. I will love my students as my own children, and should a threat arise, I will do everything in my power to keep them safe, even if it means risking my own life. But that does not include shooting a gun.
If I wanted a career where I would go into work knowing that I might not come home that day trying to keep others safe, I'd become a cop, not a teacher.
I am going into education because my strengths include presenting children information in many different ways so that they can understand. My strengths do not include the ability to keep up to 30 kids reasonably calm and quiet, keeping myself calm, AND correctly aim and fire a gun.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children's Code of Ethical Conduct states as its first principle "Above all, we shall not harm children." If I were to have a gun in my classroom, the chances of a child being harmed are immensely greater for many reasons. 1. What if I accidentally shoot a child? I don't know how to shoot a gun. Even if trained in the heat of the moment I may not have great aim. And it can go off accidentally.
Three students were injured when a teacher's gun discharged in a classroom in California. The gun was pointed at the ceiling, yet it's suspected that fragments of the bullet ricocheted and hit at least one of the students. So even if I was pointing it at a shooter, there's still a chance my students will get hurt. 2. What if my students get their hands on the gun? Students are known to steal things like candy or erasers from teachers' drawers.
Imagine if it was a gun.
They could harm themselves, their other peers, me, or all of the above. If I don't think it would be safe for ME to handle a gun if I had training, imagine the danger of an un-trained 5-year-old with a firearm in his hands.
Like I said before, if anyone has guns, it should be the cops. Now there are many situations that cops have used their guns in inhumane ways, and I want to make it very clear that I do not support that. However, an armed police officer stationed at Great Mills High School was able to prevent further harm by firing at the shooter. Although I do not like to hear of anyone dying due to a gun, even if it is the shooter, I understand that in that situation that the cop had good reason to shoot. I want to make this clear that this was NOT a teacher, this was a cop.
And the reason that the cop didn't harm other students and was able to act in a quick manner is because that it his job. Trump believes that the number of casualties of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School could have been lessened if "the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy ... he wouldn't have had to run," When facing scrutiny for saying that he thinks teachers should be armed. Trump later clarified by saying “I want highly trained people that have a natural talent, like hitting a baseball, or hitting a golf ball, or putting."
First of all, hitting a golf ball and shooting a gun are completely different things. But the first part of that statement makes sense. You know who are highly trained and have natural talents? Cops, like The ARMED resource officer Scot Peterson who was standing outside the school when he had been given the go-ahead to enter the school and take down the shooter. Trump said that “They didn’t react properly under pressure, or they were a coward," You know who else doesn't react properly under pressure and is a coward?
Except here's the difference, a teacher's job isn't to take down an armed shooter. That responsibility falls under Peterson, who accepted a job where danger is constant. If a trained resource officer does not have the courage to face a 17 year old with an assault rifle, what makes you think an educator would?
So as a future teacher I ask you, please do not arm me with a gun. Or any of my coworkers or any other teacher. My future job is to enrich the lives of children, not to go to war for them.