Manatee School Board members discuss their opinion on armed teachers
I am appalled that the Legislature in Florida is still talking about arming teachers and likely to pass the bill. The disrespect they have shown the Parkland kids (who do not want teachers armed) and the teachers of Florida (who do not want to be armed) speaks volumes for whose voice they listen to, the NRA and Marian Hammer.
The answer to mass shootings in schools is NOT to have more weapons in schools, some of which could wind up in the hands of students. I have talked with many teachers, working and retired, and they can see way more dangers than benefits with this plan.
Before the Legislature votes, they should be required to take part in a simulation. There must be a vacant school building somewhere that could become the site of a paintball simulation. There should be people assigned to play kids, other teachers, staff and even visitors. There should be explosions from fireworks going on so that it simulates the gunfire they would be hearing. Then let them try to figure out who is “friend” and who is “foe” while they are keeping kids safe. It’s not that simple.
I read an interview from a Columbine teacher who said that both Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were her students along with some of the victims. Will we ask teachers to be willing to shoot one of their students? A human being they have taught? Who among us could do that? I developed a caring relationship as a teacher with even my most frustrating students.
There is no way I could consciously take their life. Let’s work to pass sensible laws that truly protect people – banning high capacity magazines and assault-style weapons and having universal background checks.