Here is a wild idea! Let’s arm teachers! Just give them a few hours of training and tack onto their paychecks a few hundred dollars as a “bonus” to do the job of someone else who is actually qualified to protect the public. Just think of how much money we can save!
Why not? Our teachers have a pretty easy work schedule - seven hours in a classroom a day, lots of half-days and holidays, and summer vacation to boot. What exactly DO they do for their money anyway?
I’ll tell you what they do. A little bit of everything. All...at...once...
Making sure the kids get their breakfast. Making sure they get their lunch as well. Lesson planning. Creating meaningful activities from scratch. Modifying those activities to meet the needs of all kids. Disciplining kids. Counseling kids. Assessing kids. Calling parents. Attending meetings. Breaking up fights. Directing traffic. Cleaning up messes. Bandaging cuts from recess. Handing out mints to a child with a sore throat. Holding a trash can while a child pukes. Buying pencils and paper and glue sticks and scissors and books and anything else that the school budget cannot support. Smiling all the while a child talks back and then again as his parent yells that you are picking on her baby. Staying late to tutor struggling readers. Going home with only a few hours left to spend with your own family before they all go to bed and leave you working on tomorrow’s plans until you start to fall asleep at the computer.
And worrying about your children...all day long...and all night as well.
So with so much time on their hands, teachers should easily be able to take on the role of bodyguard and security officer.
No thank you.
What happens when the teacher shoots and, instead of stopping an assailant, accidentally injures or kills an innocent student or teacher?
What happens when already frightened students witness their otherwise caring teacher murder another person?
What happens when a teacher is unable to get to the scene of impending danger in time, and innocent children are killed because he was not there?
What happens when the gun is wrestled from the teacher’s hands by a student or sniper and that gun is used to erase the life of an innocent bystander?
I’ll tell you what happens. That teacher will be massively sued for an amount far exceeding the paltry stipend they have been promised for their military service.
And if that teacher is killed in the line of duty, his family will be expected to use the pennies he has been paid to put his body into the ground.
At least there will be thoughts and prayers for his survivors.
Rather than jumping forward with a knee-jerk reaction to a complex problem and adding one more responsibility to the overload upon the shoulders of our educators, we must face the problem head-on. Creatively, compassionately, consciously. We must engage our teachers and school administrators, and even our students, in the discussion and in the process of developing a sound solution.
Trusting that the educators just possibly might be educated could bring about some real change...
And keep our children safe.
Copyright, Tim Ramsey, 2018.