I recently received an email from a well-known teacher blogger asking me to take part in a short poll, and share feedback on whether I am for or against arming teachers in the classroom. The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, the eighth shooting to have resulted in death or injury in a school this year, has people across the United States talking about how we can protect our schools.
As a teacher of middle school students, I am flatly against arming teachers. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. Like Nancy Reagan, let's "just say no." I am flabbergasted at the suggestion. I am reminded of the nonviolence policies held by Martin Luther King Jr. He spoke about whether or not we would as individuals seek to establish chaos or community. If we choose to arm teachers, we are aiding and abetting the dissemination and politics of fear. One carries a weapon for security. To think that our students will be safer with armed teachers speaks of a loss of control, and a loss of belief in the humanity of our young people. If we lose belief in our young people, we lose belief in their futures. I work to give my students the tools of an education based on the faith that humanity will make choices that build rather than destroy. Let's work towards a humanizing pedagogy.
Here's what I "know" for sure - that nothing is sure. This is one job where no two days are alike. I'm kept on my toes, and sometimes I feel like a graceful ballet dancer, but most days I feel like a player fumbling the football. I am grateful for the grace of my students, who let me flail and fail. #lovethiswork
Ms. St. Jean
Native New Yorker teaching and living the middle school life, using this site to keep it 100. My students are the embodiment of joy.