I’ve been listening to all the nonsense about training teachers to carry guns in school and it frightens me to think that people in positions of leadership have so little knowledge and experience in education. As I watched a news report yesterday I envisioned a future where our children go to school in locked facilities surrounded by ten-foot fences topped with razor wire. Armed guards are posted atop towers at each corner and more guards staff the entrance where all visitors are questioned and searched. We already have a working model for that scenario. It’s called prison.
Fortunately that model should also remind us that while appearing to be a safe environment for housing prisoners, history and experience prove that prisons also enclose the dangers that lurk within the walls and fences. Prisoners, guards, wardens, and others who work in the system have all been found guilty of lying, cheating, stealing, smuggling drugs, violence, and killing…while protected by some of the best security systems in the country.
And what about security measures in place at our military facilities where every other person is armed? Have they proven to be a deterrent to insanity and brutality? Have they prevented the killing of innocent people? We all know the answer…we’ve watched it play out on the evening news over and over, and over again.
The basic premise we are forgetting is that we are attempting to protect ourselves from each other.
The only fail-safe way to do that is to live in isolation. Period. The Bible’s account of Cain and Able isn’t in there just for entertainment folks. It is there to teach us that any time two or more are gathered together there is an opportunity for love and peace, or hatred and violence.
Okay, I hear you protesting that schools house teachers and innocent children, not violent offenders and trained military personnel. Well, I’ve attended school in three states and taught in five districts in two states, so I offer these snippets of information from my own experience:
Two eighth-grade classmates got into a fight and one cut the other with a razor blade she had hidden in her hair clip.
Two high school classmates got into an argument over a girl and beat each other with bicycle chains they carried in their pockets.
Sibling of one of my students was a gang member and was shot and killed in his front yard by another gang member. Could just as easily have chosen to retaliate at school.
Classmate of one of my children did seek revenge at school. Walked up to the playground fence and shot a student who was dating his sister. Didn’t even have to enter campus.
Parent of one of my students was arrested for killing his wife.
Parent of one of my students was arrested for dealing drugs.
Parent of one of my students was arrested for raping a child.
Parent of one of my students was arrested for being a pimp.
Neighbor’s five-year-old child got his father’s gun and shot up their camper. Same child broke into our house and vandalized it.
Four-year-old student was being trained by her parents to burglarize houses. They put her through the window in order to unlock doors.
Four-year-old student stole his mother’s lighter and set their house on fire.
Another four-year-old student stole something from my classroom, including things from my desk, every day.
One of my own teachers was fired for hitting and injuring a student.
I was constantly harassed and once struck with a ruler by a teacher.
Co-worker arrested for giving alcohol to minors. Later found to be a pedophile.
I could give you more examples, but the point is that we can’t protect ourselves or our children from everyone who might pose a danger to them. We all know of students who have beaten and even killed each other. We know that parents are people with their own problems. Teachers are human beings, not saints. Yesterday’s story about the Atlanta cheating scandal is a grim reminder of that.
We have the idea that if we arm our teachers they will be able to defend their students against an insane stranger, equipped with a semi-automatic weapon, intent on creating mass mayhem. But what if they are called upon to defend their students against another student armed with a shotgun? Or perhaps against a parent carrying a knife? What about a fellow teacher who also has a gun?
Would a few hours of training give you the ability to handle those situations?
It takes a certain mindset to be able to kill another human being. Who are you prepared to kill? Someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother?
It’s a slippery slope from safety to insanity my friends.