Being a teacher is not the easiest job in the world. As students, we sometimes forget that. All we care about is our grades and wanting them to be in as soon as possible and complaining when they are not. However, a teacher’s day does not end when the bell rings like ours do. They have countless hours of correcting to do on top of prepping for the next day. Not to mention that a lot of classroom necessities that we take for granted come from the teachers as the school does not have the necessary budget to truly fund the classrooms. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs to do, yet our teachers are the ones that usually get walked all over when it comes to space, budget, and time.
My mom has been an elementary school teacher for as long as I can remember. She has worked at different schools around the state over the years, but I can always remember one thing that remained constant: she always put everything she had into the classroom. I can remember going to the “teacher store” an hour away with her so she could buy fun decorations for the season to decorate her classroom or so she could buy items for a new activity she discovered from a colleague. I remember swimming in the pool at the YMCA while my mom sat off to the side in a lawn chair so she could finish her school work and attain her masters degree. Not to mention the days when she would spend hours upon hours tracing, cutting, gluing, and laminating pieces of construction paper, in a laminator she bought herself may I add, all so that her students would have a fun way to learn the alphabet.
My mom put her sweat, tears, and money into her classroom all for wages that are lower than they should be. However, she never once thought twice about doing it for her students. Without the effort put forth by our teachers, most of our classrooms would be empty white walls, and our assignments would be plain and boring with little excitement. Even the smallest things we take for granted, such as a box of tissues, are provided by our teachers, yet one of the first things to lose funding in the federal budget is the education system.
After the recent events in Parkland, Florida, the Trump administration is proposing the solution of giving every teacher training and a gun in order to protect their students. As a daughter of a teacher, I say that is absolute bunk. My first question becomes, where will the money for that come from? Would you be willing to take a portion of the military spending, the piece of the budget that the government spends the most money on, to fund this expedition? Or will you expect each school system to pay for that? If you expect each school system to pay, you will be sadly mistaken. Most teachers are underpaid, and this is a fact that is well known. If school systems cannot even afford to pay their teachers the money they deserve or to pay to help make the classrooms an exciting learning space, then how could they possibly afford to give every teacher training and a gun? And if you think teachers will invest this time and money themselves, HA! How about instead of worrying about arming every teacher with a weapon, we worry about improving our education system and paying our teachers the wages they deserve?
“Fighting fire with fire” is not the way to fix anything. Providing teachers with guns will just add danger to a situation that is already packed with it. Having teachers shooting at a gunman will only cause more bullets to fire, and could cause more damage if bullets went astray. Teachers will not be perfect marksmen that can hit their target accurately every time. The odds of them missing are high, and that stray bullet could hit another teacher or a fleeing student.
The solution to preventing gun violence should be through banning weapons of war. The phrase “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is utterly befuddling to me. Sure, a gun itself does not commit the act of murder, but it is a tool. A tool that if people were not so easily able to purchase, could greatly stop people from killing people. Now I’m not saying that we have to ban all guns, but weapons of war, like an AR-15, should not be sold to the average person. Guns of that nature should be reserved for wartime use. Those weapons are used by soldiers to win wars and protect their country. There is no reason as to why they need to be sold to anyone. The second amendment was written in a time were guns shot one bullet at a time, not 15 back to back.
School shootings happen more often than they should. Rather than clinging to your guns and worrying about your Second Amendment right, worry about our teachers and students. Worry about the people who work day in and day out preparing your children for the future despite their lack in funds and payment. Do your job to support your teachers. Do not make them the first line of defense, prevent the event from happening.