Reprinted from Common Dreams by Julia Conley on February 21, 2018.
As students lead the nation in fighting for stricter gun control legislation, teachers across the country are speaking out against an alternative measure President Donald Trump has suggested to prevent school shootings like the one that took place last week in Parkland, Florida: arming teachers and training them to use firearms.
With the #ArmMeWith social media campaign, educators are calling for the government to provide them with school supplies, books, and other resources instead of spending an estimated $1 billion to train teachers to act as armed guards—while also being responsible for educating the nation’s children.
The president has proposed arming 20 percent of teachers—about 700,000 people. When asked about the practicality and wisdom of the plan on Thursday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters, “When you have a horrific situation like you had last week and other school shootings we’ve seen, these horrible tragedies, what we think and don’t think is practical can change.”
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) pushed back against the notion that the onus to protect students’ lives should be on their teachers, rather than on legislators, who many Americans believe should pass legislation that would prevent school shootings. …