April 2nd, 2018


Teachers, children, guns, and schools

What is a teacher?

The obvious answer is simple and yet, not so. Providers of information, but also installers of knowledge. A book can provide information, a video can provide facts but a teacher makes it knowledge, takes zeros and ones of binary and makes it graphic.

A teacher is also a baby sitter. Let's be real. Part of our school's existence is to keep children out from underfoot until they are old enough to be useful for something other than a dish hoover. Since we're not allowed to let them earn valuable experience and wages by crawling through tight and dangerous machinery, we have to do something with them when they are not eating, crying and other wise annoying us.

A teacher is a counselor. Providing children with options of the future, a path to wander. They are also to peel them off the ceiling when their meds wear off, or peel them off the ground and boost their confidence after I destroy it.

In a teacher's career, parades of children march by, and you'd think once the bell rings the faces and names of the little O2 waste units would vanish from memory like an unsaved Word Doc, but they don't. They rattle around in a teacher's brain box long after the semester, long after school is out.

Long after that.

"Oh, I remember your brother." They said to me, which is a euphemism for, "Don't think I'm gonna put up with that crap again, I'm shutting you down now."

Seriously, that was four years ago. You've have nearly 500 students sitting in front of you and you remember, MY brother? Well, they remember all 500 of those students, those faces. That kid with the crayon wedged in his nose, that kid who glued his lip to his note book, that kid who's essay was read at the teacher's convention to a standing ovation.

As each child walks in and out of a teacher's class, that teacher is embossed on that child and in the inverse, that child is impressed on that teacher. Both teacher and child have grown and for the rest of always there will be a link connecting the two.

Tell me why I don't like Mondays?

In 1979 16 year old Brenda Spencer took her rifle to school and murdered first her principal, and then a janitor, before opening up on her classmates, wounding nine of them. She then went home where she was later taken into custody. When asked why, she said, "No one likes Monday's. I just wanted to cheer them up."

Sir Bob Guildoff wrote a song about it. It became a hit in 32 countries.

School shootings are nothing new.

Here's a fun fact. In the cellar of Butler Elementary School in Noank Connecticut is a gun range. I have seen it. It's not an urban legend. I wouldn't go mucking about down there because of all the lead dust but it is there. In fact, many schools back in the day had shooting clubs. These have fallen out of favor.

Many of these schools had strict rules and zero incidents. Brenda Spencer, who was a member of her school rifle team, changed all that.

Have you seen the Disney movie, Ol' Yeller? I'm not going to tell you how it ends.

Now, with all that we've talked about, let's get to the meat of this entree, shall we.

Guns in the hands of teachers.

School shootings have become all the rage now. For the purpose of this essay, I want to define a school shooting as a wonton and intentional act of inflicting mass casualty for reasons other than terrorism. That's my definition, I just made it up. We can work on it if you like.

There was a case when a girl walked into her class, shot her friend dead, then declared, "This don't concern y'all." Then put the barrel in her mouth and pulled the trigger. That's not a school shooting.

Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland. Those are school shootings.

Another job for a teacher is guardian. Protector. Stoping children from harming themselves and protecting them from harm is a difficult task under ordinary circumstances because kids are just so danged good at harm.

But now one of your students, that goofy mouth breather you reared as a pup, taught, counseled, aided, advised, lead, trained, has come in with a gun, snarling, his brain boiling, his aura unrecognizable, and is killing people. Bang, bang, bang.

You must protect your students, get them out of harms way.

There is a call to arm teachers.

Give Teachers Guns!

Only a good guy with a guy can stop a bad guy with a gun.

Think about that.

This is, by extension, your progeny, your squire, your student, your ward...

Your child.

Yeah, for that time a teacher is teaching, that child becomes the teacher's child. That's why they remember them for so long. Teaching is taking onto oneself the responsibility of being a parent.

Now we expect that teacher to drop a hammer on their child.

Ol' Yeller.

But what about times of peace? What about all the other times you've got your student and you're the teacher and all is well.

You will always have bubbling in the back of your head, "What if I gotta drop a hammer on Billy, on Peggy Sue, on Walter?"

Imagine teaching in that environment.

Maybe some teachers can live like that, function like that, teach like that.

We underpay and under-respect our teachers as it is. Now we add the additional burden of gunslinger to them.

Should a teacher who chooses to exercise his 2nd amendment right to possess a fire arm on school property be allowed to do so?

Ol' Yeller.

That's a decision between that teacher and his conscience. (Edit, with specific school/tactical firearms training and appropriate equipment)

We can play the fun game of what if, but I won't. I think a teacher's first job is to get his students into a safe place and remain with them.

If you're interested, I'll post about other avenues of school safety at a later post.

But to sum this one up.

Teacher, you teach. Teach unfettered and unbridled. These are your kids. Teach them well.

Security should be left to the security personnel. Towns, SPEND MONEY ON SECURITY and on TEACHERS instead of stoopid things like buildings you don't need! You'll be surprised how that works. Good guys with guns stopping bad guys, there's something to that.

More on this if you care.