Texas senate passed a bill that Governor Greg Abbott(R) will most likely sign into law that will allow so-called SCHOOL MARSHALS (teachers…yes, teachers) to have access to guns intended to protect students and prevent school shootings.
As a previous educator, I want to whole-heartedly denounce this bill as the worst possible solution to preventing school shootings and keeping students safe. Everyone pretty much knows that teachers are overworked and under-appreciated. Oh! And teachers are, of course, underpaid. But I think it’s important to focus on teachers’ attitudes and their trigger-happy capabilities.
“Marshals receive 80 hours of training, including practice in “live shooter” scenarios.“
“Gun rights advocates say the marshals will save lives. But teachers’ groups and gun control activists worry that more guns on campus, even concealed weapons, will lead to potentially lethal accidents. Critics have also suggested that it could lead to more violence against African American students because of inherent biases.”https://abc13.com/society/texas-senate-passes-bill-to-arm-more-school-teachers-/5314453/
In my experience inside and outside of the classroom, I have witness teacher tantrums, excusable and inexcusable. I have seen racism and biases against students of color. I have seen the downward spiral of teachers constantly targeting the same students and the low self-esteem that resulted from the constant ‘teacher terror.’
While I was in the classroom serving disadvantaged students in Title I schools, student discipline was always an issue. The principals were continually running around with their heads cut off trying to manage discipline with ineffective strategies and techniques. In most cases, students were given a nice talking to and sent back to class with zero consequences.
Therefore, teachers have had to up their game with their own classroom management techniques that target character, discipline, achievement, community, and reward. Classroom management in and of itself can be exhausting, especially for new teachers. Piss a teacher off with a gun and what? Hands up, watch your mouth, kid! What happens when a teacher feels threatened and they are simply overreacting?
Teachers cannot even handle their own personal drama in their work settings. I like to refer to schools as a Big Brother household. Not all schools, but the ones I’ve worked at and the stories my teacher friends tell all relate to either teacher drama or student discipline. I encountered so much drama that it became exhaustive to even deal with. The many times that I confronted the sh*t-talking villains, many would play victim and claim that I was threatening and disrespectful. I could just imagine that if I was a School Marshal with a gun, how some of the villain sh*t-talking teachers would respond.
Teachers aren’t always right, either. Many look for arguments, especially with the same students. Many teachers prey on kids because they know they’ll get a reaction out of them. I had such amazing relationships with my students that they would feel comfortable spilling the T on their other teachers. I would see when teachers were in the wrong when talking to students or disciplining students when the teacher was the one who provoked it all. Don’t even get me started on the loud teacher…more on that later.
Teachers need the resources and a stabilizing, healthy work environment to teach, effectively. The Governor should be focused on the student achievement gap, teacher pay and benefits, and teacher happiness and satisfaction.
“Arming teachers is not the way to fight school violence,”Clay Robison, spokesman for the Texas State Teachers’ Association.
A teacher shouldn’t be capable of pointing a gun at a student who is disrespectful or misbehaves, or a teacher who he or she simply cannot stand, especially if that same teacher is the sh*t-talking, preying villain. Dialogue and reform are necessary to combat school shootings, but the resolution is supposed to negate schools from becoming war zones, not creating them.