The New Gunslinger

After the many mass shootings at different institutions across the nation, our school decided to take action.   Adding security cameras, six-foot fencing, dedicated security guards, and a specific and very controlled check-in for all visitors were the measures decided upon to make everyone feel safer.   In order to appreciate the magnitude of this decision, one needs to understand the history of our Montessori environment.  The main idea that is taught from our preschool through high school is that peace is paramount.  Healthy conflict and resolution is emphasized for all ages.  What does this new, high security environment now tell our children?

In addition, with the blessing of the local school board (check this out from NBC news ) several educators and our principal received our concealed weapons permit.  This was with the intention of carrying a firearm on our person, if asked to do so.  The principal and one other individual would have this additional responsibility.  Parents and students would not know the identity of the gun-carrying educator.

Did this make any of us feel safe?  Honestly, I do not think so.  We knew who was carrying the other weapon, but being a cop’s wife for twenty years, I did not have faith in this individual; would she be able to draw her firearm and use it?  Even so, did she practice how to use it well?  Is this a crazy idea?

Our school was always very fortunate.  Up to this date, we have never had a violent student in attendance.  However, what if the unthinkable were to occur and this future, upset, and unstable person got hold of the gun?  How would we, as educators, protect our students then?

On the flipside, we had a few lockdowns because of some very weird situations occurring around the school.  Would it not be easier to be armed and therefore stand a chance at defending everyone?  The NRA has no qualms about the path to take.

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4 thoughts on “The New Gunslinger

  1. Betsy Halsey

    I’ve heard the argument, that if teachers and school personnel had weapons, our students would be safer, but I had no idea that this was actually happening. In light of the topic this week of “civil discourse”, I’m struggling to compose a reply that coplies with that!

    Perhaps a way to start this conversation on a different level is to begin at the common ground. Everyone, on every side of this issue, wants a safe society, especially for children. From there we can begin a conversation about how best to do this. With this type of approach we can get away from the “rights of gunowners” vs. “gun violence gone bad” political stalemate that our country is currently in. How do we shift this converstation?

    Reply
    1. mistart2013 Post author

      Betsy,

      I agree with you that this would be the starting point of any conversation regarding the education of our children. However, I don’t know if people can put aside their emotional contribution to the situation to think clearly. It seems that, in situations such as these, that there is a knee-jerk reaction as to how to best handle the problem quickly, rather than to take the time to consider all aspects. For example, Sarasota County, Florida (one of the articles mentioned in my post references this) is a Republican area (I’m also from there; the school referenced wasn’t mine, but we took the same steps); I don’t know if other solutions could have been considered, given the political climate that exists.

      Reply
  2. Erin

    Wow! This is so interesting. I live in a state with such strict gun laws, I had no idea this was in full swing in other states! Being the teacher/administer who has to discreetly carry a weapon with the intent to protect students would add even more of a burden in an already stressful job. Did working in a school that allowed teachers/admin to carry a weapon make you feel more safe or more nervous? I am sure that this would have to be implemented very carefully and teachers as well as students need to understand the reason for it.

    Reply
    1. mistart2013 Post author

      Erin,
      We did not tell the students that we were “packing”. My own daughters went to school there (along with other staff children). They knew what was going on, and it is always possible that information can get leaked out, either by students in the know or educators who do not show discretion when they have sensitive conversations during school hours.
      To answer your question about how it made me feel, I didn’t know then, and I am still unclear whether I felt more safe or if this decision made me more fearful. It seems that I went back and forth with my emotions. I guess it would probably have come down to a real-life event as to whether I found it a good idea or not.

      Reply

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