Should taking a bullet be a teacher’s job?
In an ideal world it should not, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Teachers operate as agents of parents under the term named, in loco parentis, which means, in place of the parent. This is the contract of responsibility that the provincial school system has made with parents in order to assure parents that their children will be kept safe during the time that they are under the school’s supervision.
It is within this context that I believe it is not unreasonable, nor has it ever really been so that teachers may be called upon to put their lives at risk for the safety of those under their charge, because what parent wouldn’t sacrifice him/herself for the life of their child?
Now, given that basic understanding of the extent to which teachers are responsible for the safety of their students is it unreasonable that they would be called upon to carry guns or is it a logical extension of an existing contract?
Teachers are first responders and one of the common things that first responders share is a willingness to put their own lives at risk for those who are in danger of losing theirs. I believe that teachers have historically shown they are willing to risk their lives for their children. I have yet to read of any teacher who during a school shooting abandoned his/her students.
In the most recent Florida school shooting two teachers actually used their bodies as human shields to protect their students which is what a parent would do. The question is, what parent wouldn’t at the moment wish that they had a gun instead? The downside to the present strategy though is that you can only die once. To me it would seem eminently preferable if those teachers had had a gun with which to repel the attacker and the opportunity to save their own lives and those of their students.
Now some may say that arming teachers will make schools more unsafe and my response to that is I don’t see how that could be. Once a shooter enters a school the school has already been made unsafe. Armed teachers do not make a school unsafe anymore than an armed school resource officer makes it unsafe or a guard at a bank makes the bank unsafe. It is what it is. No shooter has ever said that, ‘I’m only after the teachers and office staff.’
Of course there are those who would say that we should just take guns away from people. Well the problem with that is that it still won’t stop murderers from killing students, because criminals will always find a way to get a hold of things that are outlawed. Plus the strategy employs the tactic of group punishment which teachers are told to not use because it is unfair to those who use their guns responsibly.
The gun is a tool, nothing more and many other tools can kill.
Julian Ross Hudson