On this op-ed, Brittany Wheaton and Olivia Bertels, lecturers and the founders of the #ArmMeWith motion, clarify why arming lecturers just isn’t the answer for stopping college shootings.
I’ve been flinching extra usually at work currently. You by no means know what these loud, echoey hallway sounds are anymore: Did a pupil unintentionally on goal slam a door? Did somebody drop their binder on the ground? Is that an AR-15? Is it price opening our locked doorways to seek out out?
As a response to but another mass shooting, this time one of many deadliest school-related gun violence incidents in American historical past, the president has prompt that teachers be allowed — inspired and incentivized, truly — to hide and carry firearms of their lecture rooms. It’s being introduced as a alternative: Those that need to carry shall be given intensive coaching (irrespective of the place the funding for that is coming from — bear in mind when colleges in Baltimore didn’t have heat this winter?). Due to this fact we’re not being pressured into something, or at the least that’s the speaking level. “It’s voluntary!” they are saying. “Just 20% of the staff will carry, and things will be better,” as if this assuages anybody’s fears concerning the infinite variety of accidents ready to occur. That is the one method to shield our schoolchildren, they’ll inform you from their places of work in D.C., all of the whereas amassing checks from the NRA. This, regardless of large pushback from lecturers themselves, nationwide lecturers’ unions, pupil survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, mother and father, and legislation enforcement. This, although my desk drawers have lengthy been a spot for sweet, stickers, and shoelaces which have by some means been discarded, not a lethal weapon.
After we launched the #ArmMeWith motion, we had one aim in thoughts: for lecturers to have their voices heard and to current logical options to maintain our college students secure from the mass shootings which have taken place in colleges, golf equipment, church buildings, and concert events. Colleges are a spot the place college students ought to really feel secure from many issues, gun violence being the very least of them. After beginning this motion, we’ve seen greater than eight,000 lecturers use social media to suggest options that may spark and encourage change. It’s evident that lecturers are keen about this subject, and we would like extra. We want extra. We demand MORE for our college students.
We earned our undergraduate and graduate levels to teach youngsters, not as a result of we needed to kill one other human. If we needed a job the place we have been chargeable for carrying a firearm, we’d have taken a distinct profession path. Lecturers already shoulder an enormous burden in the case of educating correctly as a result of lack of funding, assist, and assets to verify our college students are taken care of emotionally in addition to academically. Asking us to now carry the burden of getting the duty to kill is irreparably damaging, even when we by no means should discharge our weapon.
Let’s be very clear: America has a gun downside. We’re saturated with them, suffocating underneath them. Conserving weapons out of faculties is one piece of an unlimited but exceedingly easy puzzle whose large image is that this: We want fewer weapons on this nation. The president’s concentrate on this explicit component is a distraction from the bigger concern right here. Extra weapons means extra deaths, interval. The analysis is obvious. The worldwide comparisons are clear. Violent crime turns into lethal crime in america at a surprisingly excessive frequency due to a couple elements, essentially the most prevalent of which is the prevalence of weapons themselves. The convenience with which one can buy a firearm and stroll round with it’s unimaginable, and the outcomes are disastrous. We’ve seen it occur many times since Columbine — Sandy Hook, Pulse, Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Sutherland Springs, and now Parkland. There are what looks like numerous incidents, and but nothing. No concrete legislative solutions: no closing of the gun present loophole, no federal approval for common background checks, and no ban on bump shares.
As an alternative, #ArmMeWith freedom from the unreasonable pressures positioned on college students by standardized testing. Enable me, if you happen to please, the funding I must buy the provides that I must run a classroom that’s not bare-bones. Give me extra lecturers and smaller courses in order that I can know my college students higher. We aren’t doing sufficient to acknowledge and flag warning indicators, particularly in our younger males. #ArmMeWith the assets and funding wanted to assist college students experiencing psychological well being points. Lecturers and colleges usually in america lack acceptable funding to attain what must be completed with college students experiencing psychological well being points. College students want entry to skilled psychological well being service suppliers who can diagnose and supply correct remedy. Give our counselors time to counsel so they can correctly refer college students to the suitable psychological well being professionals.
We refuse to take part within the militarization of faculties, and we name on our legislators to assist us on this resolution. Approving coverage that arms lecturers is a Mickey Mouse Band-Assist over the gaping, festering wound that’s lack of gun management. Earlier than we argue semantics, let’s put it this fashion: Your proper to personal a gun that may kill lots of people actually rapidly simply because it’s enjoyable to shoot doesn’t trump our proper to remain alive.