A disclaimer: This particular post is NOT #edtech related, more for reflective purposes.
Teachers across the globe are reflecting about many things since the shooting in Connecticut, and I told myself that we don’t need another opinion thrown out in the mess of political correctness. But I feel like this post might be a little different.
“School is like a prison.”
A lot of teachers have heard this phrase come out of a reluctant learner’s mouth. Usually I ignore, because I know the comment is directed towards school as a whole (with its rules and policies), not just my class. So I don’t take it personally. However, I decided to challenge the idea once and asked a student in rebuttal, “If school is like a prison that is holding you here against your will, then what role do I play in that prison?”
The student replied, “I don’t know, the prison guard?” Students laugh.
“You think prison guards care about the inmates that have committed crimes and broken rules to end up there?”
“Do you think I care about you and your well-being? And be honest if you think I don’t.” My voice is not leading or demanding, but conversational and inviting.
“Yeah, I think you care.”
“Then do you think school is like prison?”
“No, I guess it’s not.”
Teachers with Guns?
For the most part, I stayed out of the heated debates that flooded by Facebook news feed in the days after the shooting in Connecticut. They were mostly focused on gun control, and I’m a believer that Facebook is not the place to get political. I even refrained from making comments during the election. But there was one comment that sparked my interest.
“If teachers were allowed to carry guns, then this incident could have been prevented or less severe.”
I was initially dumbfounded that such a comment was made, and I ignored it. Then I saw similar ones continue. Finally, I felt like I had to respond, because I’m a teacher after all, and the people making the comments were NOT teachers. Here was my response:
Teachers with Guns!
Just a day after my Facebook post, I saw an article on CNN and could not believe it! A school in Texas ACTUALLY lets the teachers carry a holstered gun if they have the proper permit. I thought this was unbelievable, but then I heard the students’ comments. They actually felt MORE safe. Maybe because the nearest police station is 30 miles away, but nonetheless, it still took me off guard.
LZ Granderson offered his thoughts on the matter today in an editorial for CNN. I recommend reading it, because he brings up a lot of points that I want to touch on, but fear I may not have the time or capacity to articulate as well as Granderson.
My personal opinions on the shooting in Connecticut run much deeper than what can be expressed in this post. But like I said, I’m not here to offer my opinion and have it gunned down with other opinions. I simply want to offer some questions that relate back to my original story above:
- If teachers carry guns, does that make us more like “prison guards”? Keep in mind, in a prison the guns are used on the inmates rather than defending them. But in a prison, they may be used ON inmates in order to defend them from one another.
- In the case of a shooting, is adding MORE bullets to the situation the best solution? Don’t assume in a high stress situation that it will only take just one, even if you are highly trained.
- As a teacher, is taking a fatal bullet for your students (like the educators that lost their lives in Connecticut) more or less heroic than stopping the shooter with a fatal bullet of your own?
Offer your answers in the comments below.