Mr. Trump, Please Don’t Arm Our Teachers

Feb. 22, 2018 

As a proposed solution to the most recent mass shooting with an assault weapon obtained by a high school student, Trump has proposed that our teachers carry guns in school, and also thinks teachers should get a “bit of a bonus” to carry them. 

Mr. President. You think arming our teachers with guns is the solution. This is the most asinine argument ever. Have you actually spoken with any public school teachers about this? I don’t have a single teacher friend, ex-military/experienced shooter or not, who thinks this is even remotely close to being a good idea. 

Where I live, in my county alone, as of last year there were 183 public schools, with an average daily enrollment of 160,429 students. And that’s just 1 county, out of 100 total counties in my state. Our county has built even more public schools this year. We are currently the 15th largest school district in the nation. If you can afford to give “bonuses” to highly skilled shooters across ALL of these schools in the nation, then let me propose this:

Instead of incentive pay or “bonuses” for sharp shooters who also happen to be teachers – or “coaches,” as you say – how about giving the folks on the front line of education (who are at-risk every single day just by walking through the doors of their school buildings, and would willingly take a bullet rather than have one of their students’ lives taken) BETTER PAY, BETTER BENEFITS, MORE RESOURCES THAT ARE USEFUL, MORE RESPECT for the profession (which, if allowed to continue on this horrible trend will have no students entering college for a teaching degree at all – it’s already massively dwindling), and MORE TIME in the classroom to do what they need to do?

How about giving them LESS “PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT” often in the form of “team-building,” or training on new, experimental curriculum developed by highly paid professionals with no classroom experience, LESS MEETINGS, LESS ASSESSMENTS that are stressing our youth to their breaking points, LESS RESPONSIBILITIES, AND LESS EXPECTATIONS (for which they already earn no extra pay)? It’s really sad to see fresh, excited, just out of school, young teachers who are leaving the profession altogether after just two years because BEING A TEACHER IN PUBLIC EDUCATION AGES YOU JUST LIKE THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY AGES PRESIDENTS, but for no equal pay.

Many of the teachers I know work 60+ hours a work week (including weekends, when they’re “off”) and many still have to take on a second part-time job in retail or waiting tables just to afford their regular monthly bills, especially if they’re single parents.

Gun - school - does a gun belong here

Instead of asking teachers to do more and more, with less and less EVERYTHING – time, money, resources, energy, equipment, motivation, control over bad behavior, respect, etc. – why not start by treating them as the highly skilled, invaluable professionals that they are? Why not give better pay in the first place to those who are raising up the future – whom YOUR future will depend upon?

Teachers deserve better. Kids deserve better. And yes, even you Mr. Trump, deserve better. 

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