Teachers with guns?

During 15 years as a high school teacher in both private and public schools, I was physically assaulted dozens of times. I even had my hair set on fire by a student.

Like many other “regular” teachers, I was often located in a portable classroom on the fringe of a campus with no phone installed, and where my cell phone had no signal, in a school where the “normal” students engaged in five fights minimum per day and were bringing handmade stun guns to school (and using them). I found death threats carved into desks when a math class of “regular” students used my room during my preparation period. You might be inclined to think this is because I taught special education kids and they were trying to wind me up. Don’t let that cause you to discard the rest of what I write here.

Many of the students –both special ed. and “normal” don’t seem to have the mind set to evaluate or care about consequences to their actions. When the politicians and pundits talk about schools, what kind of environment are they imagining? A campus where groups of well-adjusted, rule following kids are happily going to class each day? The reality is more like a mosh pit in a punk nightclub. Oh, sorry, they can’t envision that either. But what they need to know is this: some of those kids would love to have their own firearm and if they saw one on a teacher, their first impulse would be to take it. Note I said “first impulse” because so many don’t think past that and if they did, they wouldn’t care. This just might put a teacher in a bit of a dicey situation, you think? And if the kids see that teachers are carrying, many of them will try doubly hard to sneak a gun into the school and trust me, they will be able to do it. One school I worked at, several students routinely entered and left by climbing a twelve foot chain link fence behind my portable classroom. (They came before lunch, ate, and left after they’d eaten.)

Now let’s review the laws about teachers touching students. I once had a 5th grade boy jump me from behind. He tried to choke me with one arm while using his other hand to try to jam a sharpened pencil into my eyeball. Fortunately, at that time I was still young enough and remembered enough Akido to flip him over my shoulder and put him on the floor in a hold. My teacher’s aide pressed the panic button — that classroom actually had one — and the principal came storming in. And guess what happened? I got in trouble for manhandling a student. I am not kidding. I had to get a union rep. and ended up transferring to another school because the principal just couldn’t work with me after my horrible behavior. Nothing happened to the kid. This kind of thing goes on all the time although the circumstances are less extreme. Yet, they think teacher’s should have guns? Who would believe a teacher if the teacher had to use one?

And as for mental health, for several years I taught students with a “severely mentally disturbed” label snapped on them. Did they receive any mental health services? One year not one visit by any mental health provider, not one referral. Most years, some kids would see someone to be tested for half an hour and that would be the end of it. There’s no money for this, there’s not enough money to even fix leaking roofs or install phones in classrooms. But there will be money to give teachers guns, I’m quite sure of that.

I could go on for a long time, but no one who thinks arming teachers is a good idea will change their minds. Guns have become a representation of freedom somehow. And I won’t even go into the idiocy of how effectively a pistol packing person can stop someone with an assault weapon. What’s the point?

 

 

 

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~ by mickeyhoffman on February 23, 2018.

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