Random Thoughts (But Not Prayers) Re: Teachers with Guns in Classrooms
Nell Steelman Whitlock
Scene One: Ms. Jones’ cheery room,decorated with rainbow colors and positive quotations like “ Be kind," “Help your friend,” “ Talk quietly," etc. Ms. Jones likely has no assistant since the NCLEG cut funding. 30 second-graders are straining with raised hands,eager to answer Ms. Jones’ questions about an adventure story they just read.
Suddenly, alarms screech. Students scream,cling and run. Ms. Jones attempts to calm them. Frantically, she tries to remember the combination for the gun safe lock. Or fumbles with the key to the desk’s gun drawer. Or does she simply grab the gun from her pocket or from among the piles of papers and books on her desk?
Scene Two: Typical high school sophomore math class. Frazzled Ms. Smith is explaining the properties of parallelograms. She’s busy illustrating examples. She reminds Billy to stop texting Mary right now. Tommy smiles. Felicia slouches in her seat, quietly laughing as Ms. Smith asks Peter to explain acute angles.
Suddenly, alarms screech. Students scream,cling and run. Ms. Smith attempts to calm them. Frantically, she tries to recall the combination for the gun safe lock,etc.
Scene Three: Cafeteria,library,halls, pep rally,auditorium assembly, prom,football game.
What is the gun game plan for mass gatherings at school?
2. NC teachers:
Regarded as if they are glorified babysitters, they must educate our children and keep them safe. Unlike any other state employees,they must buy their own supplies. They must detect troubled students.
And now some people demand they also be trained,armed, ready to pull a gun.
Will they have full access to the classroom gun? If so,will they be required to add gun training to their qualifications? If not,who will protect their students?
3. Teacher weapon training:
When and how will this training be implemented? For teachers like Ms. Jones who has been teaching for 25 years and has never owned or fired a pistol, how will they tbe trained? If an experienced teacher fails to hit the bullseye in training, will she lose her job?
Will refusal to use guns get teachers fired? If not,will they be held liable if a bad guy kills someone in their classrooms?
4. Gun storage:
Where? Teacher holster? Gun drawer? Gun safe on a wall with combination lock or key? If key,where will it be kept? Where is the key stored off-hours? What security will there be for all classroom gun safes when no one is there? Perhaps teachers will have to sign their guns out and in every day at the principal’s office,adding 20 minutes to their day. If so,is there a master safe in the principal’s office and how is it protected overnight, weekends, vacations?
Who will be responsible for maintaining the guns? Who will keep track of all the bullets? Will each gun be ready to shoot or will the teacher have to take a moment to load up? What kind of gun will be mandated?
What should a teacher do if some students, just for fun, crack the classroom gun safe and just fling the gun around for a lark?
5. Money matters:
Who pays for the teachers’ classroom guns? Who’s responsible for all appropriate insurance and any damages resulting from possible lawsuits (ranging from simple psychological damage done to children,caused by the ever-present guns to accidental wounding or murder of innocent parties)? What if the teacher is killed by an assailant as a result of her brandishing her gun while trying to defend her students? Will her family be awarded a significant compensation?
NC teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation. Will gun duty mean they’ll get additional combat pay?
Will schools have to completely eliminate “frivolous”art,music,drama and phys-ed teachers to cover the combat pay? Perhaps a gun fund bond? Perhaps a dedicated lottery instead?
Will the NCLEG establish a Department of Guns in Classrooms? If so ,how will it be funded? Certainly not by raising taxes. Perhaps further cuts to social safety net programs like school lunches and Medicaid, etc?
What are the options for those who don’t want their kids in gun-infested schools?
Before rushing to pass a “gun in every classroom” bill, they must spend one or more days as substitute teachers in any public school.