guns_mt_March 6, 2018

Illustration by Makenna Timoteo | Staff Illustrator

Gun control and gun violence are unsettling topics that resurface after every mass shooting. When tragedy struck Parkland, President Donald Trump proposed that teachers should carry concealed handguns. Teachers are meant to teach not be a form of law enforcement.

No one should be forced to carry a gun. Especially those who were not trained for their position to do so. Furthermore, just because a teacher has a gun, it does not guarantee that they will be able to bring themselves to use it. Additionally, there is a greater risk of mistakes when guns are in the hands of people who are under-trained and hesitant to use them. These are risks that must be evaluated because the group that we are forcing gun use onto signed up teach not kill.

“I went to college to educate children, not because I wanted to kill another human. If I wanted a job where I was responsible for carrying a firearm, I would have taken a different career path,” said Brittany Wheaton, an English teacher from Utah in an interview with CNN. Listening to what teachers want is the answer to the debate.

Lawmakers fail to realize what the classroom setting is really like for teachers. Making an average of $54,000, teachers in the U.S. are already underpaid for the monumental task of shaping the generations of the future. Teachers are expected to instruct energetic kids to pass standardized tests with little supplies to do so as teachers spend hundreds of their own dollars in supplies for their students according to studies by Scholastic.

Educators are not paid adequately for the stress their job already entails. Congress wants to add more of a burden by having guns on campus. Until teachers get paid accordingly for all they do, making them carry such a dangerous weapon should be out of the question.

The #ArmMeWith movement is growing among the education community It promotes that teachers want to be armed with better funding for things such as school supplies, more counselors and smaller class sizes. Smaller class sizes would allow teachers to interact more with their students. Teachers will be able to have a better understanding of their students’ home life and recognize if the child requires more attention.

Giving a child a good atmosphere at school could be a step closer to solving the issue of preemptively giving attention to troubled kids who go on rampages with school shootings. Arming teachers with items that will help them improve and educate the next generation is what they need, not a gun.

Adding more guns in a school environment is not the solution. Guns are not another thing teachers need to worry about. Teachers should be focused on doing their job as educators. Arm teachers with things that will help children succeed and grow, not fear their educators.

– Hannah Schmanske is a journalism freshman

This column is apart of a Talk It Out series. The opposing argument to this article can be found here.

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