Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Dismantling Public Ed

This whole discussion about arming teachers is just a way to speed up the destruction of public secondary education. Many people who would never consider taking their kids out of the public ed system will change their minds the moment armed teachers become part of the equation.

I’m a great believer in public education. I’m in public education myself. I was never even remotely tempted to consider a private school for Klara. But now that I’m hearing all the debates about arming teachers, I started looking into small, private, religious schools in the area. There’s nothing that could have pushed me in that direction other than this ridiculous idea.


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16 thoughts on “Dismantling Public Ed

  1. Evelina Anville on said:

    Oh I don’t think public school teachers will ever be armed. It’s just inflated rhetoric. Honestly, I think this is one of the few times I’ve seen any momentum on passing some gun control measures. I’m starting to think it’s more likely that we see some common sense regulations be enacted than we see any movement towards the arming of teachers.

    If you live in a good district for public schools (and I would guess you do), it is likely that your local public school is better than the religious private schools in your area.


  2. I keep saying this to people – that (talk of) arming teachers is just another way to increase the Republican’s attacks on public education. In addition to making parents wary of sending their children to weaponized schools, it also makes students afraid of the situations in which they are supposed to learn, which in turn, makes them afraid of learning, of information, and of the skills they are supposed to be picking up in school. It’s not just a war on public education, it’s a war on education and knowledge.

    And no, I don’t think it’s all bluster, either – though I hope to everything that it is. The same people who say it’s all bluster said Trump was a joke and stood no chance of being elected, and these same people continue to underestimate the power that the far right is wielding. I’m not so trusting of their judgement these days…


    • Evelina Anville on said:

      I completely agree that Conservatives want to undermine public education and making children and parents feel unsafe certainly helps do that. It would just be enormously difficult from a bureaucratic standpoint to force teachers to arm themselves.

      The only real difficulty is that it’s not illegal for teachers to arm themselves. And it seems that some teachers actually carry concealed weapons to class. For instance, there is this story:

      So I could see this type of thing increasing–especially in more conservative parts of the country. Sane/normal districts of course have explicit weapons bans (even my university has one). I could also see some districts reversing these bans–and reversing weapons bans would be bad. But actually arming and training teachers? I just don’t think it will ever happen.


    • I don’t even know any more. People are so crazy that anything is possible. It does sound nuts but it’s so nuts it just might happen.


  3. Shakti on said:

    They already have teachers paying for school supplies; you think they’re going to spring for weapons training?

    They’re not going to dump more money into the school districts for any reason.


  4. Why does private have to mean religious too?

    Of course, as an atheist I am not neutral, but I value not hearing about God at Ukrainian school and think that elementary age schoolchildren in Israel are too young to understand the difference between Torah stories and f.e. Israeli history. I talk about secular schools here, which are not supposed to indoctrinate.

    Children are very influenced by their peers and environment, so if one wants one’s child to be religious – the best strategy is sending to a religious institution for schooling.


    • If I were to pay, then at least I’d pay for something. At least, there’s less chance of eye-rolling ridiculousness at a religious school. Nobody is really religious any more. Consumerism has killed it. But at least people who call themselves religious pretend there’s something beyond consumerism, so that’s something.


  5. Dreidel on said:

    Are you aware that at least seven states already allow teachers to be armed in their public schools?

    Parents aren’t pulling their children out of the schools in Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Arkansas, or Washington State.


  6. My mom’s opinion on this, as a teacher, is: “I don’t even keep a gun in my house, and you’d expect me to keep a gun in the classroom?”

    Also, of course it’s the teacher’s job to look out into the hallway and shoot someone who’s shooting up the school with an assault rifle. Because teachers aren’t civilians! They’re trained police or soldiers and are clearly provided with body armor — OH WAIT.

    Just because a person has a gun, doesn’t mean they know how to use it. Those who do know how to use them don’t necessarily have the skills and training to use them to contain a situation. You’d be asking an essentially untrained individual to assume the consequences in the event something went really, really wrong — like an accidental shooting (or, god forbid, a purposeful one), or a kid in the classroom gaining access to the gun. Not to mention that cops and soldiers go through psychological testing. Is the government also going to pay for the psychological testing and therapy? PTSD treatment for both students and teachers in the event of a classroom shooting? What about the logical increase in health insurance costs? What about the teacher who really shouldn’t have a gun because of their own psychological state — maybe they’re too oversensitive to the environment around them, to name one example. These are still people who might be qualified to be teachers — they might be very good teachers — but they sure as hell don’t need a gun.

    And this new idea of arming public school campus security with assault weapons is ridiculous. Why wouldn’t regular weapons be enough (or necessary) — and how many times have students been mistreated because the guy with the gun has a god complex? Never mind that just having the security doesn’t mean they’ll be there in the case of an emergency — there was an armed security officer in the FL school at the time, but he wasn’t in the right place to intercept the kid. The kid also knew all the lockdown procedures and had figured out a way to get around them. He likely knew exactly where security was in the school.

    The people who are calling for this measure have no sense of what it would really mean. There are states who allow armed teachers, sure. But it’s not required — how many teachers actually carry weapons into the school on a regular basis probably isn’t a number anybody has, but I’m betting it’s likely to be fairly low. There are also schools who make all students and staff go through metal detector checks at every doorway. Before we even think of requiring armed teachers, wouldn’t it make sense to try something nonviolent first?


    • I agree completely with your mom. I’m afraid I’d be more dangerous around a gun than most people because I tend to be a klutz and guns confuse me. Once again, this is an attempt to farm out state functions to private individuals, and we all know I detest that kind of thing.


      • We do all their work and take on all their responsibilities
        —while they still get the paycheck, and all we get is stressed out and the potential of liability should we make a bad judgment call.


    • Dreidel on said:

      This issue (requiring teachers to use arms) is a straw man. NOBODY (not Trump, not the NRA, no legislator at any level of government) is proposing making unwilling teachers get mandatory firearm training.

      You can make the argument that allowing voluntary in-school carry is a bad one for various reasons — but that’s the actual proposal being floated around.


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