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Posted by on Feb 24, 2018 in Everyday Life, Heart Clutter, Reflections | 0 comments

because someone needs to say it.

I am a professional educator.

I was trained by the best at Lees-McRae College and by one of the best teachers in Avery County as my mentor teacher in my student teaching.

I furthered my training at ETSU by receiving my masters in reading and my reading specialist certification.

To get where I am today, I took a standardized state test in every subject from third grade up until my senior year in high school. I had to take four PRAXIS entrance exams to get into my teaching program. I had to take another to get my license. And still yet, another to receive my reading specialist certification.

I have the ability to coach reading teachers from prek to high school level according to my masters degree. I have the ability to read between the lines of a oral reading record on a kid to see what exactly is going on with that kid and what I can use to supplement and improve upon their reading skills.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I also have been accused by my students year after year for having eyes in the back of my head. I learn how each kid sounds when they walk and I know when a set of feet are out of line. It drives them batty.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

My friends used to tease me because I could whip up lesson plans and papers like a cake in college. Give me a syllabus and I’ll fill in the blanks.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I’ve been through two hours of active shooter training each year of my teaching career. I can tell you in detail how the Virginia Tech shooting went down, how each room response related to deaths and survivors, and how the Aurora theater shooting went down as well.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I have learned that exits are my friend. I know which cars belong in the parking lot and which look strange. I’m usually the first in the door in the mornings at school and I know there shouldn’t be any other vehicles in the lot. If there are, my gut winces and wonders. I’ve read articles about the differences between a normal gun shot wound and a wound from a semi automatic weapon. It is eye opening.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I am a pain the butt to several congressmen in Nashville. I even had an assistant to one senator sigh when I told him who was calling. I call that a victory.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

My point is simple: I am so over all of these opinions on what to do, how to do it, throwing guns into my classroom, blah blah blah blah blah.

  1. More guns don’t solve the problem. A nine millimeter can’t hold a candle to the weapons of mass destruction (which is what they are). Diane Sawyer actually did a segment on this very idea. She brought in ten gun owners of various abilities, from expert to beginner and gave them all the same active shooter training. Each person sat in a lecture hall and a fake active shooter entered. Each “good guy with a gun” was shot and killed. Well, paint ball style, but a couple weren’t even able to reach for their gun.
  2. If I were to have a gun, should it be holstered to my waist throughout the day? Will I be provided with a bullet proof vest? Heck, should we have the PTO raise money for all children to have a bullet proof vest? Should I run to my gun or my kids? Which should be the priority? What about crazy kids? Even if kids don’t know which teachers have a gun in their room, believe me, they’ll figure it out. Kids are smarter than you give them credit for. And this whole idea that teachers could’ve had the last active shooter down flat is preposterous. Panic is a fickle creature and a powerful one at that. Panic changes the entire scenario. I would only trust trained military or the SWAT team in a panic situation. Not an educator trying to protect their kids.
  3. What about simply demanding that our schools are set up safer? What about bullet proof doors? What about armed intruder protections such as cameras throughout the school that have a live feed directly to the sheriff’s office? What about metal detectors at our high schools? What about being given the ability to call out bullying for what it is instead of dancing around it? Bullying is allowed in full force in this country, since the president is allowed to do it. That sends a powerful message to our youth, whether we think we teach them everything at home or not.
  4. We need to learn to love our kids more than our right to weapons of mass destruction. PERIOD.

So I guess I’m the “other bad guy” now. I’m alright with that. Full disclosure: I have begun to go to the shooting range myself. And I have really enjoyed it. It’s stress relieving and it’s not a terrible idea to know how to shoot. I’m not banning guns. I’m not running a red pen through the rights to guns to protect your family or go to the shooting range with in tow. I’m saying we need to look at these high school students as an example to all of us. They stood up. In nine days they have forced major change. Kids. The kids that we make fun of, the kids that we call “entitled brats”-these kids will be old enough to vote in the next election and special interests won’t be able to buy their opinions as they have bought so many in congress. They are the change, and they will be the change. They are amazing.

Because they will demand that the adults who have failed them stand up and do better.

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