"I don’t want to die, and I don’t want to kill anyone,” said one North Carolina teacher.
Educators in red states raised their voices this week, making it plain they despise the idea of arming teachers in the classroom.
“Look, I don’t want to die, and I don’t want to kill anyone,” Leigh Sanders, a sixth-grade teacher in North Carolina, told the News & Observer. “I want to teach, and if anyone wants to arm teachers, please for the love of country, let it be with school supplies, nurses, counselors and, above all else, trust.”
While Republicans and White House cling to the Hollywood fantasy that arming school teachers will solve gun violence on American campuses, educators continue to denounce the plan as dangerous and patently absurd — which it is.
In Florida, 10 out of the 12 largest school districts in the state have announced this week they will absolutely refuse to arm teachers in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, mass murder that claimed 17 lives. The defiant moves comes after a Republican-passed bill in the state legislature gives communities permission to allow educators to bring guns into schools.
Not only won’t they participate, but Sunshine state educators are denouncing the plan publicly. Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, told the Tampa Bay Times this week that anyone who thinks arming teachers is the solution is “absolutely out of their mind.”
Meanwhile, a new statewide poll in North Carolina reveals that an overwhelming majority of teachers in that Trump-voting state oppose the gun plan. Seventy-eight percent of teachers there think it’s a bad idea, and 61 percent say it would make them feel less safe in school.
More than two-thirds of teachers in North Carolina think a gun carried by a teacher would fall into the wrong hands.
As North Carolina seventh-grade teacher Justin Parmenter told the News & Reporter, the idea “sounds like a Hollywood fantasy to me. The chance that a teacher would shoot a bad guy coming into the classroom with an AR-15 is very slim. An accidental shooting or a student getting hold of the gun is much higher.”
The radical notion of flooding U.S. schools with guns is one that the NRA pushes, likely as a way to distract from the serious discussion about guns in America. Following the Parkland, Florida, mass murder, Trump endorsed the NRA’s talking point, suggesting geography teachers could double are sharpshooters in time of trouble.
More guns inside schools is an awful idea. And teachers know it.