As a long-time teacher, I abhor that violence has become a daily concern for our students and educators. Hearing of another catastrophic event sickens me, as does the problem’s longevity. Our society desperately needs it to end with Parkland. Some have brought forward that teachers should carry firearms as a deterrent to gun violence. Others have brought forward broad arguments against this. However, let me give a teacher’s point of view.
Every day, a teacher goes to school ready to serve in loco parentis — in the place of the parents. Teachers care about the learning and growth of every student in her or his classroom. This takes a kind of preparation unique to this profession and to do the job well, one must have a mindset that requires passion for content, people, and life.
Ask any professional who carries a gun, and they will tell you that if a person carries it, she or he must prepare to use it. Treat every gun as a loaded gun, and professionals shoot to kill. No one should have a gun who doesn’t have this mindset, one which goes completely against the one a teacher must have to do the daily work the career demands. Even for those teachers willing to do the training to carry a gun in a school, it creates an internal conflict that takes away from the primary intent of education. And as the worst possible outcome, that teacher would actually have to use that gun.
Editor's note: Larew is a teacher in the Pleasant Valley Community School District