The stunning absurdity of arming teachers as a response to our nation’s school shooting epidemic was put on full display Wednesday morning when a teacher was taken into custody at a high school in Dalton, Georgia, after shots were reported fired.
Thankfully, no students were killed; one student injured his ankle in his haste to flee. Details are still sketchy, but it appears a teacher barricaded themselves in their classroom and let off a firearm.
The rest of the school has been evacuated, another day of learning wasted as children are needlessly forced to experience the terror that instinctively emerges at the prospect of an imminent and excruciating death.
UPDATE: The teacher is in custody.
— Dalton Police (@DaltonPD) February 28, 2018
In the wake of the horrifying massacre at Stoneman-Douglas high school in Parkland Florida a few weeks ago, which killed seventeen students, there have been at least six attempted school shootings foiled by watchful parents or the plotters’ own amateurism.
The response from President Trump, the small but ferociously vocal minority of right-wing firearm fetishists, and the disgustingly craven Republican legislators who sold their souls to gun lobbyists decades ago has been to call for arming teachers instead of banning the assault rifles used in the deadliest shootings or making it more difficult to obtain firearms in general.
This preposterous solution has been met with derision and horror from our nation’s teachers, who rightfully are appalled at the thought of turning our nation’s schools into prisons where every student is treated as a potential killer. One shudders to think of the number of accidental shootings – or the potential for homicides – that arming teachers will inevitably produce.
Thankfully, no students were harmed in today’s incident – but you could not ask for a more ominous warning as our nation once again struggles with how to resolve the gun violence crisis.
The Florida legislature voted last night to spend $67 million to train “marshals” – the new euphemism for armed teachers – and the foolishness of that plan was just made painfully obvious.
Sadly, the lesson here is almost certain to be ignored.