Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Arming Teachers

Back in December I wrote a few posts about the various parts of my job and what they really look like. After the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut I did a bit more reflecting on my job. Yesterday I wrote about our lockdown drill, our practice in case of such a terrifying possibility.

In related news, one of the blogs I enjoy reading is The Educated Reporter, from the National Education Writers Association. It helps me keep up to date on policy issues and other educational issues around the country.

Earlier this week Emily Richmond wrote about the current interest in arming teachers. My state, Virginia, is one of the states with bills proposing something along these lines (of course).

I find this possibility terrifying. I have fired guns before, skeet shooting with my mom when I was younger. (She used to hunt quail with her father, if I remember correctly.) I enjoyed that but I've never felt a need to shoot regularly or to own a gun. In fact, the idea of a gun in my house gives me nightmares. I have two daughters and the risk, in my mind, is just too great. A school with 700 students is even worse.

There are many aspects of my job I do not greatly enjoy. Some aspects I actively dislike. But if being armed becomes a part of my job it will be time to find a new job.


Laura Dowling said...

I so totally agree. Imagine guns in high schools like mine with 2400 students. Something bad will happen. Who could feel safe in a place with guns? Did anyone see the movie, Teachers?

Luann said...

I target shoot with the menfolk in the family. I also teach in a high school. I'm pretty good at both. I own guns and store them appropriately even though our children are grown and gone. Teaching and carrying a gun are both tasks that take 100% focus. I've tried to imagine teaching with a gun in a holster, and I can't see a way to give 100% of my attention to both activities simultaneously. I suppose the gun could be locked in my desk, with the ammunition locked in another location. By the time I'd manage to retrieve it while dealing with a classroom of teenagers, it would probably be too late. I see absolutely no logic in teachers carrying guns. I'd likely join you in the job search.

Jenny said...

Laura, I find it so hard to imagine feeling safe in a place with guns as well. Clearly there are plenty who don't agree. It's also hard to imagine being able to focus on learning with guns everywhere.

Luann, It's fascinating to hear the perspective of a teacher and gun owner. Thank you for sharing. I've long respected the work you do both in your classroom and more widely in education. Losing teachers like you would be devastating for the profession. Let's hope wiser heads prevail.