The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Why Teachers Shouldn’t Carry Guns

on February 27, 2018

Like many other people who have already spoken up, I am against the belief that teachers should carry guns and be ready to use them if the need arises. In this country too many times children have picked up guns that were carelessly left lying around the house thinking they were just toys. And angry or frightened adults have shot someone they cared about when they only meant to get his or her attention. I think those are pretty good reasons why children should not be introduced to guns in schools as if they were ordinary tools.


Can you imagine what a teacher with thirty students in her classroom would feel like if she just got a message from the school office telling her that a man with a rifle had stormed into the school and was on his way upstairs where her classroom was? Of course her students would have heard the message too, so most of them were up from their seats yelling to each other and trying to figure out if it would be better to hide in the classroom closet or make a break for the library down the hall, which was much bigger and had several closets.

The teacher called for everybody to be quiet and sit down as she fumbled with the desk drawer where her gun was stored for safety. Unfortunately, most of the students didn’t even look at her or listen to a word she was saying. About seven of them scrambled out the classroom door and headed for the library, while the others tried to hide under their  desks. Two boys who knew a lot about guns from hunting with their fathers stayed with the teacher and tried to help her open the desk drawer. They had seen her do it before in  practice sessions and felt that they knew the process better than she did.

Just then the classroom door swung open and a tall skinny boy with a large gun stepped in. “I thought you guys were in here” he said. “Remember me? You used to grab my lunch box in the cafeteria and eat all the good stuff. Have a taste of my bullets now”. Then he lifted his gun and swept it around the room letting the bullets fly everywhere. The teacher was the first to be hit because she was still standing at her desk. Several kids who were also standing fell to the floor. The shooter looked around the room, but no one else was standing or moving. “Goodbye kids and Miss Teacher. I’ve got more to do.” he yelled as he left the room and slammed the door behind him.

I imagined this gruesome scene because I was a teacher in several different schools. I think I know how I would have acted–and my students too– in a situation like the one I described.  I would have been so nervous that I couldn’t control my students or remember the combination to my desk drawer. Even if I had finally got the gun out, I can’t imagine holding it still and actually pulling the trigger.

Putting aside the discussion of the bad things that might happen in a school under attack and how best to handle them, I think it is more important for teachers, school officials, and parents to focus on making all schools safe all the time. Although the schools I have worked at or visited looked clean and neat, none of them had any supervision to keep outsiders from entering the building and walking around freely. If a person happened to be well dressed and act confident, he or she could roam the halls and peek in the classrooms for as long as he wanted without being questioned.

Moreover, the technology needed in schools’ main offices is old and unreliable or missing altogether. Not one school I’ve been in had a camera at the main entrance or a switch to lock its door automatically. In addition, systems to send messages to classrooms were often old and their messages were hard to understand. Worst of all, there were times, especially during the lunch hour, when the office was left open with no one inside to manage it.

What we Americans still believe, almost universally, is that local schools are a part of our  community and we are part of them.  After all, we pay taxes, vote, attend school meetings, contribute our time and money, and put our children under their care for several years.  What we have not yet figured out is that those schools and our children may be the targets of some very sick and angry person who wants to punish us for not treating him right. We have the same responsibility to protect our schools as we have for our homes and families.

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One response to “Why Teachers Shouldn’t Carry Guns

  1. David says:

    I agree with you on that: we shouldn’t have guns in school, for it is Anserine, and precarious for teachers to have guns.

    Like

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