Letter: Arm teachers? Schools cannot even afford soap
As a retired teacher who worked with disadvantaged children for 37 years, I'm appalled that people believe teachers should be armed. The world is frightening enough for children without them thinking their teachers might have concealed weapons.
During the 20 years I worked in North Sacramento, we often taught through lockdowns. Mostly this happened because of domestic disputes that erupted at school, or a mentally ill person came on campus and decided to stay, or there was police action in the neighborhood.
Once during recess we thought we heard gunshots, so we rushed to our classrooms. I remember saying, "Run with me, kids." Later we learned that the sounds were caused by our own truant students, who were putting illegal firecrackers into car batteries. A few years later, one of those brothers was shot and killed as he got off a bus on Watt Ave. Every year at that school, we learned of tragic, violent incidents.
Even with these experiences, I'm against guns in schools. My school couldn't afford soap in the restrooms; how could we pay for guns and training? Teachers watched out for keys and purses, but sometimes they were lost or stolen. There were break-ins by people who wanted our electronics and medications. Having guns around children is an invitation to disaster. My own 13-year old nephew was accidentally killed with a .22 rifle and our family was never the same.
My classroom had a steel door, there were metal grids on the window and we trained for emergencies. It wasn't a perfect solution, but I felt relatively safe.
With accessible mental health care, stronger family values, a better economy, and fewer guns, we can reduce this mindless violence.