Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 teenagers and educators dead and a nation and community in mourning, a national conversation about gun control and schools has taken the nation’s attention. One of the most popular — and misguided — refrains when it comes to talking about gun control is that we should be training and arming educators with firearms so they can ward off or suppress any attacks on students in the event of a mass shooter situation. A lot of teachers, however, didn’t really care for that suggestion.
A number of educators responded in kind to the suggestion that they should be carrying guns (most notably vocalized by President Donald Trump) via the hashtag #ArmMeWith on social media. While they all had different ways of saying it, the argument from teachers who voiced their opinions boiled down this they are teachers, not security guards; they need funding for such things as school supplies, books, nurses, and school psychologists, not instructions on how to properly discharge a weapon.
Here are some of the best responses to the policy suggestion.
This teacher, who brought up the school nurse shortage crisis and the hunger crisis as a problem that has led to the deaths of students in several school districts:
No. No. F**k no I will not carry a gun. You want to arm me? #ArmMeWith :
-students with full stomachs
-school nurses. Plural. Enough for the student population.
-never ending box of expo markers and copy paper.
Give us these things and we can move mountains.
— Jennifer (@JennSWhite) February 21, 2018
This teacher, a proud gun owner, explained why she would never have her firearm in a classroom:
I am more than capable and comfortable carrying a gun. Never in my classroom. Don’t tell me to carry a gun in a classroom full of precious cargo. Instead give me time and resources so I can build relationships that matter. #ArmMeWith pic.twitter.com/uoeLp7BbIU
— Colby’s Fab Fifth (@colby_kendra) February 21, 2018
One teacher just asked for legally required heating in her classroom, which she apparently doesn’t have.
Please #ArmMeWith a working heater in my classroom.
— megan panatier (@MeganPanatier) February 21, 2018
One teacher asked for more autonomy in a school curriculum that is increasingly standardized. Oh, and a fair salary.
I’m a teacher. #ArmMeWith an administration that supports us, fair pay, and the autonomy to teach what my students need rather than what’s mandated by standardized tests.
— smk (@sararoo21) February 23, 2018
One teacher called out cuts to teacher training budgets before stating that her classroom was also out of Kleenex.
I don’t need a gun.
I could use a bit of that $2 billion you wanna cut for teacher training though.
— Meghan Everette (@bamameghan) February 23, 2018
One teacher simply pleaded for enough time to listen to her students.
We aren't wired to shoot people even with training. We are teachers. We love our students often like our own kids. I can't fathom the trauma a teacher would experience having to shoot a threat, possibly their own S. #ArmMeWith TIME to listen to my Ss. #TeachersAndGunsDontMix
— Julie U
This teacher who asked for a culturally responsive curriculum to which all students can relate.
Most notably, many educators asked for more preventative funding in general. Preventative funding that has had the research to back up the fact that kids need more emotional support, not the threat of a gun in the teacher’s desk.
#ArmMeWith the time and resources to teach the transformative and empathic power of literature… not just what’s needed to pass the test. #ArmMeWith the freedom to LISTEN and UNDERSTAND. pic.twitter.com/nDc98khk2O
— Mrs. Haddad (@heymrshaddad) February 21, 2018