One thing I’ve learned in my twenty-two years as a Chicago Public Schools teacher is this: I carry the responsibility of making students feel safe in my classroom.
This responsibility I—and all teachers--carry does not include carrying a gun.
Yesterday, at a meeting with teen survivors and parents of the Florida school shooting, Trump said that he wants more firearms in schools. He wants to arm teachers.
In a tweet, Trump later said he wants “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience.”
Again--someone who doesn’t teach thinks he knows what teachers should do.
Here’s what good teachers know: students learn what’s acceptable or not based on what we allow to happen in our classrooms. Good teachers call out and stop racist, sexist, abusive, insulting, bullying behavior and say, “No, that does not happen here.”
Trump's presidency, however, unleashed all of the ugliness that racist and sexist people carried in their hearts—because he, with his actions and his words, demonstrates that it is permissible.
So, no, Trump. Do not arm teachers with guns.
Teachers need to be armed with the educational resources to prepare our students to transcend in, to thrive in, to overcome an American society where inequality exists because of people like our current president.
I do not want to sit in a faculty meeting next to a colleague who carries a gun.
I do not want my children learning from a teacher with a gun at his or her side.
I do not want our schools to accept the ridiculous idea that guns solve violence.
I admire the students whose voices continue to rise against the unthinkable tragedy. Emma Gonzalez is a survivor of the Florida shooting. In a speech, she called BS on all of the ludicrous beliefs that allow gun violence to thrive.
Yesterday, I put up a poster outside my Chicago Public Schools classroom to celebrate her courage. I hope more students speak up.
NPR reported that at yesterday's meeting with survivors of the Florida shooting, Trump held a small card a staff member gave him to remind him to say, “I hear you.”
He remains incompetent, insensitive.
Now, teachers need to join the voices of outspoken teens and say, “Hear us, President Trump! Hear the teachers who say, 'Gun control now!' ”
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