Teachers from Reddit weigh in on guns in the classroom

Teachers from Reddit weigh in on carrying guns while teaching. I'm sharing the following quotes from conversations on Reddit showing how teachers think about this issue.

1) I don't believe in guns. Edit: If you believe everyone has a moral right to bear arms, you should at least recognize that everyone has the same right not to.
2) There's no possible way it will be conducive to learning
3) There's probably a higher chance of me or a kid accidentally getting shot by my own gun than it coming into use
4) Y'all don't fuckin' pay us enough already. If you want us to be security guards AND teachers, you better pay us for all the training and responsibility you're forcing on us. We're talking at least $10,000 a year. And you'd better bet I insist you pay for training, equipment, and regular target practice.
5) Teaching is already hard enough. I'm not competent enough to do ANOTHER extremely hard job at the same time.
6) Kids are already afraid enough to seek out help sometimes. Don't add a gun into the equation.
7) Fuck you
Edit: 8) I'm lucky because I'm white, so I didn't even think about this at first. But there are a ton of teachers who are a people of color who don't want to end up like Philando Castile.

--I can't even get effective training on my new grading software. I know damn well I won't get training on a gun.
--That's fine. You don't need training because you won't be getting a gun, either. I had to buy my own dry erase markers last week.

"Too much potential for a gun to fall into the hands of a student with behavioral issues. It would be asking me to shoot another human, even one trying to kill me, and I just don’t know if I could do it. What if one of my kids is shot by mistake? I would never be able to live with myself. Who is providing training, maintenance, guns and ammo? My state is at the bottom of the barrel in per student spending, but there’s enough money for this? When we’re in a lockdown, we aren’t allowed to leave our rooms. Would every teacher have a gun? If there’s an active shooter on the other side of campus, there’s no way to get to them, and a teacher can’t leave their own class to go hunt down an active shooter. I’ve never used a gun in my life, but with minimal training, I’m supposed to hit a moving target, loaded with weapons, ammo, and sometimes a bulletproof vest?"

I am a teacher. I do not own a gun. I do not want to have a gun in my classroom for the same reason I do not own a gun:
Sometimes I get really angry.

What I want to know is what happens next? That is, when a teacher pulls out the gun that they've been "trained" (never going to happen) to use, and successfully puts two in the chest and one in the head of an active shooter. Hero teacher stops monster from adding to body count. They did the right thing, and everybody knows it. Lives were saved. Then what? No matter how justified it was, the fact remains that the teacher shot a student to death. I cannot see a scenario in which that teacher could return to school and continue teaching those same students. I strongly suspect that most teachers will probably never be able to return to teaching at any school. Their career is over at no fault of their own. So district will certainly have to do something for them. Severance? They can't call it that, but that's what it'll be. "You can't work here anymore, so here's this pile of money to take a year off while you get your life reset". How long from there until bounty hunters start looking into teaching jobs?

How long before a stressed out, depressed teacher reaches a breaking point and commits suicide with their gun in school? Studies show easy access to a firearms increases suicide risk.

I can only imagine them passing a law requiring all teachers to have "Safety Certifications," in which on our current salaries, we are required to pay for safety training, testing, and supplies (guns). I can FEEL it coming.
Also, if my keys are the only protection to a gun in the classroom. . .that's REALLY easy for a student to steal from me or even attack me for. It's really not safe.
I worked in a school in which a teacher lost it and punched a student (fired immediately and license removed). Imagine that teacher had access to a gun in the classroom.

I had a student bring a pistol into class last year. It wasn’t malicious (she was holding for a friend but then didn’t know what to do with it), but it made me think: would I be able to shoot one of my own students? Some outside threat, sure; I’d consider it. But I don’t think it’d be as easy of a decision otherwise.

Given how the police is very shoot first, give the cop a paid vacation, avoid questions later, in a situation with an active shooter, a black teacher (or anyone non-white) is much safer without a gun than with one.
Even then, he better not be holding anything in his hand. An eraser could be seen as a deadly weapon.

As a gun owner, I would be willing to keep a gun in a locked safe in my classroom. But if there was an active shooter in my building, I would follow lockdown procedure, lock my door, cover my window, make sure my students were taking cover in appropriate places, and then and only then would I go to the safe and get my gun. Then, I'd hunker down behind my desk with the gun pointed at the door. And I'd only shoot if he was trying to force his way into my classroom. No fucking way would I venture out into the halls to try to hunt down the shooter! I would be more likely to get shot by the SWAT team (or by some other armed teacher!) than to actually do any good.

Kids in my school come from neighborhoods where guns are prevalent. They aren’t safe at home, and yet idiots think they are somehow going to be safer with guns at school as well? No data supports this. The fact is that more guns make us less safe. Kids in my school need at least one place where guns aren’t available.
Let’s try this logic with other issues...let’s make abortion more readily available and see if that causes the abortion rate to decline.
I have a CCP and own multiple firearms, but assault rifles need to be banned. It ought to be harder to get an AR than it is to get a driver license. And even with my CCP and training, I would definitely choose not to carry in my school. If my authority has to come from carrying a pistol, then I’m not doing my job right.

I don’t want the question from a parent to be “well where was the armed teacher in all this?” I know your kid’s safety is my responsibility, but not so much that if I don’t shoot someone before they shoot a student then I’m held responsible. These are also the same parents who ask the teacher instead of their child why their kid has so many zeros or who blames the high school English teacher when their kid fails English in college. It would be the armed teachers fault for not stopping it. Believe me, no parent has ever told a teacher “well you did your best to help and that’s really all that matters” lol.

As a student working on a teaching degree this thought terrifies me. Personally, I’ve had some experience with guns and could safely carry and use one under normal circumstances, but it would be such a danger to have it in a classroom. There are so many things that could go wrong before you would have a chance to do anything. Also, I have to think about some of my teachers in the past and if they had guns I wouldn’t want to be in their class. It’s sad that we have to even think about this. Everything going on has made me question if I really want to teach.

My biggest issue with this is that it doesn't solve the original problems of what is causing the school shootings. It's such a pathetic answer to the much more difficult issues associated with gun laws.

Adding firearms to mitigate the threat of firearms violence does not pass the common sense test. There are ~3.6 million full-time teachers in the US. If just 10% decided to carry, that's 360k firearms in schools. I'm a veteran and remember how often professionals left firearms unsecured and had negligent discharges. When exactly would we be trained to be CQB trained to a professional standard? Even then, the hit rate for professional shooters is far lower than one may think. This would be adding an enormous amount of real risk just for the mere potential to mitigate another risk

I could totally see an accidental shooting happen during a false alarm lockdown.

Dude, all I'm saying is...
We're unionized, organized, and have a work force larger than the Army. Give us guns and we'll start a revolution!
The only down side is that our guns will be provided by Pearson so we'll have to buy a new one every year. But it'll come with online content, so...

Working in a school that has students who are highly trauma impacted I cannot imagine what stress it would add to them knowing that their teacher could be armed. I was telling my husband instead of arming teachers I would feel much more comfortable with an armed resource officer, panic buttons that instantly lock doors or just having a school that’s automatic doors actually lock when they are supposed to. Plus I cannot imagine getting up and down from circle time (I teacher kindergarten) with a gun strapped to me.

I don't like having armed resource officer, but would be OK with it. The cost is really high though, imagine trying to have even one at the school nonstop, and at events. That kind of money for a district would add up quick.

I think the problem is that concern forms more naturally in our minds as teachers because that is a real tangible dynamic to us in our daily lives. To most others, it's much more abstract and probably rare to the extreme that it's a moot point.
That said, I teach in a school where a substantial amount of our faculty are trained israeli soldiers and veterans. I know it's not the same thing, but that fact never really compromised the relationship between those teachers and their students. Still, I share your concern.
But my biggest concern is on the day that it counts. The day where a teacher does end up saving lives by taking out their gun and shooting a kid. What happens next? Sure, the shooter was a monster and the teacher was a hero, but that doesn't change the fact that a teacher shot and killed a classmate of one of these kids. No matter how much we try to be rational about that, I just can't see that teacher being able to continue working at that school.

It blows my mind that people think I will pull a gun out and starting shooting at a man, exchanging gunfire, with 30 six year olds sitting between us.
There are better solutions. I refuse to keep a gun in my room.

If states develop and adopt laws that allow teachers to conceal-carry, it would only mean that teachers who already have a concealed carry permit could have their firearms at a school. It would not mean that an authoritative body could require that teachers obtain a concealed carry permit and carry a firearm while at a school— it would be unconstitutional.
The Texas School Marshal Law states that, teachers who possess concealed carry permits may apply to become a School Marshal. Under this law, the selected School Marshal candidate must: submit an application, pass a psychological exam, submit a copy of their valid concealed carry permit to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, and then undergo and pass an 80 hour School Marshal training course
[that is] conducted by a law enforcement
academy that has been specifically prepared
to provide the school marshal curriculum.
Among the topics covered in the School
Marshal course are: physical security,
improving the security of the campus, use of
force, active shooter response, and weapon
proficiency.
“Once a candidate has successfully done all of the above, the appointing entity must submit the School Marshal form and [the application] fee. Once approved, a School Marshal License will [be] issue[d] to the candidate(s)” (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement , 2018).
**I am not arguing for, or against this law (and/or similar laws) with this post. I’m only providing the most accurate information that I have found, thus far, regarding this law.

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Arming teachers with concealable handguns...

...to defend against attackers with battle rifles...?

Even our law enforcement and military don't subject their people to those kinds of odds.

Tweet du jour, from Ken Olin:

Tweet du jour, from Ken Olin:

If teachers have to carry guns, Presidents should have to read books.