I will never carry a gun in school as a teacher. If I am asked to do so, I will refuse. If I am required to do so, I will not be teaching any longer.
That does not mean I would not in any way shape or form try and defend a student from harm.
But I will not carry a gun. I did not get into teaching to be a law-enforcement official. In fact, I became a teacher to “arm” students with something much stronger than a gun: critical thinking skills.
Is it not interesting that one of the architects of the budget process that has slashed the budget for the Department of Public Instruction as well as funneled more money into charter schools and vouchers might consider having teachers carry weapons in public schools?
No, it is not. I would not expect anything more from Rep. Tim Moore (pun intended).
A report that Rep. Tim Moore of North Carolina is putting together a committee to possibly consider arming teachers in NC’s public high school’s is startling yet not surprising.
From T. Keung Hui:
A new state legislative committee will consider arming North Carolina teachers in the aftermath of last week’s mass school shooting in Florida.
House Speaker Tim Moore announced Tuesday that he’s forming a new school safety committee that will be charged with developing recommendations for how to improve safety in the state’s schools. During a press conference Tuesday in Shelby, Moore said the committee will look at a myriad of issues, with arming teachers as a possibility after getting feedback from school districts and law enforcement (http://amp.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article201179899.html?__twitter_impression=true).
Just this week a key K-12 task force assembled by Gov. Roy Cooper was presented with a report from Education Resource Strategies. As reported by Billy Ball from NC Policy Watch:
Karen Hawley Miles is president and executive director of Massachusetts-based Education Resource Strategies, a national nonprofit that advises states on school finances.
Miles’ report, which analyzed both state and national public school spending trends, pointed to numerous shortfalls in the state’s school finance structure, including that North Carolina has the fifth lowest average teacher salary in the nation when adjusted for cost-of-living, and that the state’s teachers earn only about 67 percent of the pay given to “similarly-educated, non-teachers” (http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2018/02/21/experts-gov-coopers-education-commission-nc-school-funding-near-nations-lowest/)
That very finance structure has been championed by the likes of Tim Moore.
The thought of arming teachers with firearms is rather interesting when the very people who are calling for having teachers equipped with firearms don’t even arm the public schools with enough resources to adequately function.
- I have to fork over my own money to buy supplies.
- We have not had new textbooks in over ten years.
- We have a lower per-pupil expenditure in this state than we did years ago.
- We have school buildings that are literally falling apart.
- My high school has five counselors for over 2400 students.
- There is one part-time social worker.
- There is one school psychologist assigned to multiple schools at one time.
- A school nurse is on campus only one day a week.
Add to that rising numbers of students per class, more classes to teach, more administrative duties, more paperwork, more tests, more value-added measurements, and more evaluations.
All of those things have happened with Tim Moore as the Speaker of the NC House chamber.
And now there is talk of having teachers be armed as law-enforcement.
In this state, there are teachers and administrators who do not feel they have enough support from “higher-up” to even enforce the discipline plans already in place. There certainly is not an incredible amount of faith in the current GOP-led NC General Assembly to empower teachers.
As a country we require people to have a license to drive a car, we regulate alcohol, and we determine who can operate businesses at certain places. We cannot even put an addition on a house that we outright own unless it passes several stages of permits.
But at 18-years of age, one becomes old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes and an AR-15. That’s three years before one can buy a beer legally.
Lawmakers set these guidelines. Interesting that some think I should carry a gun to protect students from shooters like Rep. Larry Pittman.
The massacre at Douglas High Schools in Florida really has hit the nerves of many a teacher and student. The fact that the students who survived and experienced the horror of last week’s events are organizing and calling for gun-control measures has set up a national dialogue that we must have.
Funny that many who think these 16, 17, and 18-year-old people are speaking from a point of view that is too impressionable and easy gulled may also think that having a law that allows an 18-year-old to purchase a weapon like an AR-15 is just fine.
They may also forget that when someone turns 18 years old, then he /she can vote.
2018 is a big election year, especially on the local and state levels.
Those students who went to Tallahassee, FL to persuade the state lawmakers to ban AR-15 sales as they exist now did not even get the chance to see a bill make it out of committee. They won’t forget that. And those old enough to vote this year just made sure that they are registered to vote.
There will be a lot of young voters in North Carolina as well.
And they will not mind being heard. In fact, they will make sure they are heard.