A few days ago, our President said he thought it would be good to arm teachers in our schools and give them bonuses if they are willing to do so. What the? I asked myself, is he serious? Is this the thing that could help a school shooting? Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this.
To expect our often underpaid and super busy teachers to also carry guns is unbelievable to me. I wonder if he understands how much they are already doing for our young people. Perhaps this could be part of the discussion, but the entire issue of a shooting is so much more complex.
To me, asking them to also do this is a bit much. That is my opinion and I am curious what others think. On the news this morning, I heard in a rural school district, the administration and students were in favor of it. And in that district, they are doing it and have a sign at the door that states there are guns on campus. So apparently this is working in some places. I do, however, have doubts and concerns.
To me a better option is to have each school have an armed and professional police officer/security officer/school resource office or SRO. And let’s make sure they are trained to know exactly what to do in the case of an armed intruder. After all the skills, training, education, and expectations are different for a teacher than for a police officer. Both are jobs that are extremely important to all of us and both pay much less than is fair.
I have teachers in my family, friends who are teachers, and have loved getting to know all of Ian’s teachers. All of them work hard and do the best for their students. They spend their own money and they have training throughout the year and in the summer. They inspire our kids and teenagers. They teach them to read, to write, to complete math problems correctly. They coach them, they teach them art or music, they teach them science, social studies, critical thinking, foreign languages, computer science, and so much more.
And, do you know how much time they spend doing their jobs? Not just the 6 or 7 hours they are at school. No it is so much more. They still have to grade assignments, papers, make lesson plans, create and grade tests and quizzes, meet with parents, other teachers, the principal and vice principal, meetings with others in the district, attend PTO/PTA meetings after a long day of school, coach a team, lead the drama club, or practice an instrument.
They pay their own money each year since the budgets by and large do not cover enough to do this. They volunteer for all kinds of projects and things to help their students. Some also are in school earning Master’s Degrees to enhance their careers. And they care for their students and show it each day.
The classes often have 20 kids or more and sometimes less. Each student needs attention, needs to be reached, needs to be taught, and needs to be valued. It takes time and effort to build up those relationships. It takes time to teach the kids and have them succeed. Ian’s teachers all are fantastic at this and have helped him learn and have helped him succeed. I cannot thank them enough for all that they do.
I am happy to be a part of the PTO at Ian’s school. We are helping our teachers and students and have a great group of parents who know the importance of this work. We have provided the extras for our students and our teachers. We replaced the 25-year-old audio and video system that the entire school will be using, gave money to all teachers to use during the summer for supplies, and bought books for a study for an entire grade.
Before I started, the PTO purchased new computers for the school’s computer class. There has been a lot more as well. Many other PTOs and PTAs help with playground equipment, a variety of items for schools, money to help pay for transportation on a field trip, and so much more. So, there are ways to help our amazing teachers in what they need in order to have a great learning environment for the students.
Back to our police officers and school resource officers, they too are very busy and important parts of a school’s success as well as a community’s success. They have regular training, are busy building good relationships with our students and parents, they go to the firing range to practice, and they have drills and scenarios to know what to do.
I have respect for them as well and know several people who have worked in various roles in the sheriff’s department or police department, or at the school. Some officers work with dogs as part of the K-9 units, others are on SWAT teams, others on bomb squads, others do traffic control and stops, others work at jails or prisons, and the list goes on.
My life has been blessed by knowing people who teach young people and by knowing those who protect and defend our young people and our communities. I have a deep respect for teachers, administrators and assistants as well as police officers, deputies, detectives, and auxiliary officers. The good ones do an amazing job for all of us! For them I am thankful.
I wonder how this and so many issues will be resolved. I also wonder what you think about this.