I went into teaching because I am relatively non-confrontational. Now, talk to my brother and he’ll tell you that I started everything when we were children. That’s probably correct. I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. I’m not a kid anymore.
I’m an almost 46 year-old woman with two biological children and at least a hundred adopted. I believe in compassion and goodness. I believe in random acts of kindness. I believe in saying my mind when I see something or someone beautiful. I know that this might be weird. But if I see a beautiful person, I am going to say something. We live in a world saturated with unkindess, or at least we could. But not on my watch. Not in my corner.
I just finished teaching the Holocaust. I made a point of talking about people who chose compassion and goodness over atrocity and evil. My biggest regret right now is that I don’t know more names to add to my list of people who would rather be kind than silent. That’s okay. I have time to research and learn.
The point of this is….there is no way in hell I will bring a gun to school.
I am not anti 2nd Amendment. Let’s get past this right now. I have mixed feelings about guns and gun ownership. But that is moving into personal, private territory and I won’t give out more personal information on that topic at this point.
I have fired guns. Shooting a Walter PPK or whatever James Bond shoots is pretty amazing. Shooting a small version of a machine gun was pretty amazing too. I am not embarrassed about that sudden rush of shooting at a PAPER target in a safe area where I had nothing to fear.
But there is no way in hell I will bring a gun to school.
My classroom’s number one rule is respect. For everyone and everything. For me any my colleagues and my students and their classmates and their friends and families and enemies.
And for someone, anyone, to suggest that the only way I can possibly guarantee my students’ safety is to strap a sidearm to my side and flash it around? Please. That is one hundred percent stupid.
My husband and I have been talking about raising chickens And not just for their eggs. I am comfortable with everything related to chicken raising, chicken cleaning, and chicken eating. I will cook the chicken. But thinking about killing it ends that possibility right there.
I have found baby copperheads in my gardens. And I killed them because, at the time, I had small children who would show no fear or hesitation around picking up said snakes and playing with them. Don’t give me some wild statement about the snake slithering away. This is my world in which the impossible is likely. I am totally Murphy’s Daughter.
I was sick to my stomach when I finally laid down my lethal hoe or shovel or garden implement.
I cried when I hit a possum with my car. I didn’t have enough time to brake or swerve. I didn’t have the space to avoid this beautiful, living animal that I collapsed into a plasma of broken bones and crushed synapses. I felt terrible. I sobbed the last two miles home.
There is no way in hell I am going to bring a gun to school.
My classroom is a place for students to feel safe. My classroom is a place where I want students to laugh and to know that the only arms I bear are attached to my shoulder bones.
I chose teaching so that I could continue to write. I fell in love with teaching because I found my mission field and bringing a weapon to that world is unspeakable.
I am sick and disgusted by this blathering about teachers being expected to carry weapons into their classrooms. I am not a member of the armed services. I am not a first responder. I know how to do CPR and am probably not even good at that.
I have respect for the armed forces. This rant is NOT against them. Talk to my father, my Big Daddy. They will vouch for me and my respect and love for the military. They have the emotional strength to be able to enter a combat field and follow through on the resulting actions.
Am I speaking in euphemism? Yes. Because I am afraid of sounding contradictory and judgmental.
I just know who I am. Soldier I am not.
Police officer I am not.
I have decided that if a shooter were to come to my school, I would stand in front of my students. Not because of some noble sacrifice. And not because it is EXPECTED of me because I am a teacher (which is the source of another rant that I’m not ready to articulate just yet).
It’s because my students have much longer lives than I do. And I know that my biological children will be okay. Their families, both biological and adopted, will step in and care for them.
You see, I don’t want to cause pain. I want to prevent pain. And, for me, expecting me to carry a gun is the stupidest thing in the world one could expect.
Now my throwing shoes? I got those with me everyday. And they are far more threatening…..