The music world celebrated the hero complex this way:
Now we turn to teachers: our new heroes. We want to arm them, require them to carry weapons as a police officer does, because they will save the children.
(Never mind that we were just shaming them, falsely, as being unable to teach our children to read and do math.)
Yes, the average, anonymous teacher will be the new Hollywood hero. With no training, no experience in violent situations, and no evaluation as to qualifications, we now expect teachers to leap into action if a shooter is active in their school. Rather than try to shelter children or get them out of harm's way, we want our teachers to pull their weapon and blaze away.
It is time, long past time, to stop viewing our world like a Hollywood movie. Real life is nothing like one.
Think of a police officer, someone who is authorized to carry lethal weapons. That officer has undergone training, pondered what-if situations to think in advance of the best way to respond, spent hours on a range honing skills in using a firearm, <I have asked my local police agency, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, for an idea of the training a police officer undergoes. When they respond, I will update this post. But I'm too eager to wait. Sorry.>
Teachers get none of that. Priorities, people. Should your teacher receive training in being a pseudo-soldier or SWAT officer? Or should their training be focused on your child's learning needs?
Teachers don't have enough time as it is. Go ahead and force them to spend their time preparing for a role that is not appropriate for a teacher. Then, when nothing happens at your schools, condemn your teachers for poor test scores.
If that doesn't convince you, consider this. While school shooting incidents are isolated, teacher misconduct occurs in every district every year. In my district, about a dozen out of 8,000 teachers are disciplined or fired for acting inappropriately with children every year.
That teacher (recent incident) terminated for swatting a young child on the back of the head? You really want that teacher carrying a gun when her frustration overwhelms her?
That teacher disciplined for taping children's mouths shut because he doesn't know how to make them stop talking? You really want that teacher having a gun to pull out and aim at the class?
We don't need heroes and we don't need teachers packing heat.
We need to address the root causes: the availability of guns that no one needs in domestic life, the trauma of our violent, urban neighborhoods, the dysfunction of families, everything that causes a child to make a horrific decision to exit life by taking as many others with them as they can.