Teachers Do NOT Carry Guns

I have been a teacher all of my life. My partner and three sisters are teachers. Many, many of my friends are teachers.

Teachers do NOT Carry Guns. It is the antithesis of what we are called to do with our lives.

We find joy in connecting with our students to help them learn things. We find challenge in articulating subjects so that students of many different learning styles can find the AHA moment that leads to new understanding. We work hard to prepare them for an ever-changing complex world. I cannot begin to list all of the disciplines we must master to be able to teach students of any age.

Our dear seven-year-old granddaughter attends a bi-lingual school in Los Angeles. Walking her to the playground where all children line up with their teachers before entering school, I see the world arriving—fathers with dreadlocks, mothers with hijabs, fathers in suits, grandparents in jogging suits. A “United Nations” of children walk in squiggly lines behind their teachers, eager to enter their classrooms—confident of the kindness and attention of their teachers, anticipating the familiar pattern of the day.

I watch Sasha’s first grade teacher lean over every child, helping with backpacks, giving hugs, looking each child in the face, loving and appreciating them into the morning. I cannot imagine, nor will I tolerate the idea that this teacher should be packing a loaded pistol.

The inalienable right of students of all ages is a safe and nurturing learning environment. Guns have no place in this scene. None.

 In response to the brave, articulate call from high school students who survived the recent horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, the President of the United States has recommended arming teachers. This is a response from someone who has no understanding of what millions of teachers do every single day on behalf of children and youth—especially public school teachers.

At best it is a stupidly dangerous idea. At worst it is an idea that could lead to the disintegration of our society into a police state.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are following in the steps of their radical founder who said: “Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption and bad politics—but never give up.”

As adults, we owe it to students everywhere to support the Parkland high teens. How do we support them? We continue to apply pressure on our elected leaders to find a solution to the horrific problem of gun violence in our schools. And we use great discernment about what is a good idea and what is a bad idea.


21 replies
  1. Larry Houff
    Larry Houff says:

    I have hopes for a meaningful dialog with both sides, but I don’t know. AS I told my niece in Georgia, we in Minnesota are quite progressive in dealing with psych issues, but we have had two mass school shootings. I will forward this to my daughter who is a teacher in the Roseville district.

  2. Margaret L Brown
    Margaret L Brown says:

    Thanks, Ann. I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for stating it so clearly. Most schools are already armed with a public safety officer and a metal detector. This has simply viewed as a “challenge” by more recent shooters. It simply shows that Donald Trump, like so many other politicians, is afraid of the NRA.

  3. Jeanne Petrick
    Jeanne Petrick says:

    AMEN, Ann. But of course, this all shouldn’t have had to been said. I am so proud of the students who are standing up to all these adults in “power” – they will make a long term difference.

    Thank you for your words on this subject – thanks for not giving up.

  4. Laurie Greig
    Laurie Greig says:

    Thank you and DITTO TO THE AMENS! So well said, so sadly needed for the words to be said and the idea so intolerable it is beyond words. Kudos to those fighting kids too. And to you, as ever.

  5. Meredith Egan
    Meredith Egan says:

    Ditto and amen, as said above.
    THIS is why police officers who come to restorative circles I’ve facilitated over the years are asked to come in civilian clothes…because guns change learning potential.
    Safety, empathy, vulnerability…all are most important for learning.
    I hadn’t thought about the connections here. Thank you for being so articulate!

  6. Suzanne Culp
    Suzanne Culp says:

    It’s not easy for your Canadian friends to witness the current political climate in the States, but sane voices like yours give us hope. Thank you for your thoughtful and passionate defence against arming teachers. We’re with you all the way!

  7. Tenneson Woolf
    Tenneson Woolf says:

    Your voice of clarity helps call out more clarity in my voice. I hope that my clarity in voice helps with those near me also. Elijah and I will keep talking. About guns. About safety. About schools. Thank you Ann.

  8. Maryann Weidt
    Maryann Weidt says:

    Arming teachers…indeed a bad idea. The children are leading us. Adults must listen and follow. Blessings on us all. Thank you Ann, for speaking out.

  9. Liz Foster
    Liz Foster says:

    Well said Ann!! As a former teacher I support your view 100%. While so much emotion & confusion & arrogance reside within the dilemma of gun reform,
    apparently arming teachers seems like an easy fix, as opposed to insisting our nation’s elected leaders lead.

  10. Jan Adam
    Jan Adam says:

    Thank you Ann for this strong statement. Lets, in stead of providing teachers weapons, encourage them to sit in Circle. And give the young people who feel excluded, angry, disappointed and depressed a voice and include them in our communities. Knowing that mercy is the strongest weapon.

  11. Karen Holum
    Karen Holum says:

    You are so right on. Guns do not belong in our schools. It is not a teachers role. Or an administrators role.

    Thank you Ann for stepping up to the plate and making a statement.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *