In the week since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the debate has heated up between the pro and anti-gun camps here in the United States of America. Understandably, no one wishes to see a repeat of the massacre that took the lives of 26 men, women, and children. But one of the more alarming solutions that have been proposed is to put guns in the hands of teachers.
Now I have heard stories from teachers on the front line who would love to have a Sig Sauer (shouts out to Ms. Matthews), but arming teachers in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting would be a knee-jerk reaction that ultimately would create more harm to us, our children, and our culture in the long run. Here are three reasons teachers should NEVER be armed!
Reason 1: Arming White Women Against Black Male Students is a Recipe For Disaster
Brother Umar Johnson, Founder of the National Movement to Save Black Boys, has made it his life mission to counter the biases in the school system that improperly characterize our young Black men as at-risk, suicidal, violent and depressed. In this article, he addresses why Black boys over-represented in special ed classrooms. “They are traditionally taught by individuals that are poorly trained in managing behavior. And rather than care enough and use their teaching skills, they label our children as having disruptive behavior disorders. Thus, our children are sentenced to a life of special education and sedation.” he explains.
One of the very few options that frustrated white teachers, operating under the mental illness that is white supremacy, have in dealing with Black students is to banish them to special education, medicate them, or dismiss them from the school system completely and thus terminating their chances for ever successfully operating within the American capitalist construct. Arming white teachers against our Black students gives these teachers a brand new weapon to combat what they would call Black aggression.
Imagine reading news reports of a white teacher who unloaded a full magazine into a Black male student because she felt like her life was endangered. Or imagine students engaged in typical high school fights being shot down in the halls or in the school yards by white teachers. Do you think justice would be served? Not likely. These teachers would get away as easily as the
pigs police officers who shot down Amadou Diallo and Oscar Grant.
White teachers are already murdering our children with under-education, over-penalization, and by putting them on the fast track to prison. Why would we put guns in their hands? so that they can finish the job?
Reason 2: More Guns Could Result In More Casualties
As a veteran of two wars, I can tell you that armed conflicts are confusing, fast paced, and require highly trained individuals capable of staying calm, making good decisions and shooting accurately in life-or-death situations. In these situations, I was fortunate enough to have enemies who wore uniforms that made it easy for me to tell who to shoot at and who to protect.
Now imagine a school shooting where 4 or 5 teachers with concealed weapons all draw their weapons during a school shooting. In the chaos, odds are they’ll start shooting at each other. Now the first responders arrive and see multiple gunmen in plain clothes, radio calls go out of multiple gunmen and the next wave of responders arrives. In the crossfire, how many innocent lives would then be lost?
This is the very definition of a cluster fuck.
Reason 3: Arming Teachers is Too Simplistic
Some would argue that if the teachers had been armed, those children would still be alive. While that may be true, a more rational approach to securing our schools would be to have well-trained security personnel on site who monitor the schools perimeter, and those who access it.
The role of our educators should be just that – to educate. Leave the gun play and security to the men and women who are specifically trained to handle situations like those we have seen at Sandy Hook, and at Virginia Tech, Columbine, Chardon, Oikos, Northern Illinois University, and so many other academic institutions. Equip all schools with metal detectors and systems that support rapid threat response.
Additionally, each and every individual in these institutions should be trained in Terrorism Awareness and Prevention, protocol in the event of any threat to the safety of the students for whom they are responsible, and threat evasion – skills taught to every member of military and law enforcement agencies in this country.
Putting guns into the hands of teachers who may or may not be familiar with how and when to use that weapon and then expecting these teachers to charge into a school hallway to shoot it out with a crazed gunman is asking our teachers to do more than they should be expected to do. And any legislation that even remotely suggests as such is a knee jerk response to the school shooting epidemic that we have now found ourselves in.