On Arming Ohio Teachers

education Jun 13, 2022

Today, Ohio’s governor Mike Dewine signed a law that allows most staff (including teachers) to carry a gun at school. This is an update to the current law which allowed teachers to carry a gun in schools if they had 728 hours of training.

They now only need 24. Far less than it takes to get an endorsement to teach gifted and talented students in Ohio.

To be blunt, this is a stunt. We know it’s a stunt because of the out-clauses. Every board of education can still define how many hours a staff member needs in order to carry a “permitless” gun to school. And, if they do decide to go with what the Governor and Ohio Republican party are okay with, they must inform parents of what they’re doing.

Let me ask you. How many parents are cool with their kids’ teachers packing heat in a classroom? I assure you, it’s quite small.

How many teachers would even WANT to bring a gun to class? I assure you, it’s quite small. You don’t pick a profession with children in order to scare them.

How many children want to see their teachers carrying a gun? I assure you, it’s quite small. Kids go to school to feel safe (despite the horror stories on the news, schools STILL tend to be the safest place for children). Will there be learning if they see their teacher with a weapon? I can 100% assure you, that there will not!

I am a former teacher. I loved my students. Even the challenging ones. Carrying a gun would absolutely have been the most terrible thing I could have done for building a relationship. This idea, that to protect children we must arm teachers, is a terrible, incredibly terrible, idea. Kids need love. This is not love.

What do we do about it?

If you are a Republican, participate in primaries. Vote for candidates who understand nuance, and can apply empathy and logic to the problem with guns.

If you’re a Democrat, get involved in local campaigns and primaries to make things happen. Also, do the hard. Hang with neighbors (or go seek neighbors) with different viewpoints and have conversations. People change their minds when they can identify the “other”.

If you’re a parent, be intentional and active in voting for school board members. Consider running. Honestly, this is probably the most proactive step you can take. A board can simply say “nope” to this insanity. And they will be backed by a HUGE majority (although a too quiet majority).

If you’re a voting citizen, for the love of everything holy, please look at other countries and see how they have actually MADE a difference in this terrible affliction that hangs on to US politics. Gun deaths and school shootings do NOT need to happen. Be pro-life in the real sense of the term.

Love our children. Keep them safe. And don’t answer violence with violence.

“Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself”
- MLK

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