It has been about a week since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and students, activists and survivors have been advocating tirelessly for federal gun control. However, President Trump is suggesting what seems to be the complete opposite: more guns. In fact, he doesn’t just want more guns, but more guns in schools.
His suggestion is to arm 20 percent of teachers with guns and give them firearms training to be able to better defend students in the time it takes for police officers to arrive on the scene. He suggested this idea during a White House listening session with the survivors of the attack—yep, he said this while surrounded by the kids who had just experienced a mass shooting firsthand—and reiterated his thoughts in a series of tweets the next day. Since then, teachers from all over America have been tweeting back with their thoughts on his master plan. Here’s what they had to say:
Serious question: When did teacher salaries become so strong that a teacher can educate while also being an armed security guard? Why is it the responsibility of a kindergarten teacher to ward off a shooter?
— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) February 22, 2018
— Motown Girl (@GirlMotown) February 23, 2018
Working in a school I would say absolutely no. To put this burden of responsibility on teachers would be cruel and crazy. In the event of an active shooter or the threat it would cause chaos and more possibility of death.
— Amy (@snoopysnowcone) February 22, 2018
#CNNTownHall As a teacher, I’m letting you know I’m not carrying a gun to work. I’m not bringing guns around my children. I am not a police officer or in the army for a reason, I teach kids — I don’t go to war every day. My job is to educate children.
— skye l. (@skyelorenn) February 22, 2018
Even this teacher who has experience with guns doesn’t want the responsibility of having to take down an armed shooter on their school’s campus.
Guys, I’m a college professor.
I’ve also been shooting guns my entire life and own multiple guns now.
I don’t trust myself to be able to capably defend a classroom against a shooter, and I’m a good shot.
Why would we expect teachers everywhere to bear this responsibility?
— Josh Grubbs (@JoshuaGrubbsPhD) February 21, 2018
Many other teachers tweeted with suggestions of other things to arm teachers with instead of guns. Using the hashtag #ArmMeWith, these teachers are proposing other more helpful resources, such as social-emotional training and mental health support for both teachers and students.
#armmewith books that help develop empathy and reduce the stigma of mental health struggles.
— Stephanie tanner (@tannertheteach) February 18, 2018
#ArmMeWith a damn EPIPEN for my students with allergies. NOT A DAMN GUN
— Mellow Jess (@JessD627) February 21, 2018
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
I am a teacher. Arm me. Arm me with funding for a full time school Psychologist. Arm me with funding and mandatory school counselors. Arm me by funding smaller class sizes so I can best get to know every one of my 160 students and their families. Arm us with what we NEED.
— Mrs. Heidi Bowman (@Mrsbowmanocsa) February 22, 2018
I’m a teacher.#ArmMeWith enough arms to hug all of my students that need it, enough legs to go the extra mile for each of them, and enough hands to help them back up when they fall.
— Ms. Imamura (@MsImamura) February 21, 2018
I don’t need to be armed with a gun but rather #ArmMeWith
•legislature that puts our children’s lives before your guns
•funding to truly support my students
•more time to build a class community instead of inundating them with testing
•action not just thoughts and prayers
— Natalie Flaten (@Flaten_CCHS) February 21, 2018
These are the things teachers are saying they need to educate and raise kids in a safe environment, and these are the things they—as the ones who spend the most time with our kids—are saying can positively combat the vicious cycle that leads to mass shootings at schools. So no, President Trump, giving guns to teachers will not solve this problem, and teachers are saying loud and clear that they don’t want them.