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Donald Trump Said He Wants to Arm 20% of Teachers in Schools, and Teachers Just Responded

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (C) speaks during a listening session with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survivied last weeks mass shooting (L-R) Jonathan Blank, Julie Cordover and Carson Abt and others in the State Dining Room at the White House February 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump is hosting the session in the wake of last week's mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After President Donald Trump suggested that arming 20 percent of educators would help curb the spate of mass shootings, teachers largely condemned his proposal.

"So let’s say you had 20 percent of your teaching force, because that’s pretty much the number,” Trump said describing his plans for teachers to be armed using concealed carry during a listening sessionwith survivors of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people. “If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms they could very well end the attack very quickly."


You can watch the president suggest this to the survivors in the video below:

“We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of those who want to use them to massacre innocent children and educators,” Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, told Education Week. “Arming teachers does nothing to prevent that.”

A slew of teachers took to social media to criticize the proposal. Many said that they would never agree to carry a gun around children. Others joined the chorus of critics demanding teachers receive hazard pay for their troubles. And still more others pointed out that children would be better served with school supplies and textbooks than by arming teachers.

Other people relayed messages from family members who happen to be teachers. One social media user quoted his brother, a high school teacher in Los Angeles who said that "if teachers are required to carry guns that he and most of the teachers he knows will resign immediately."

Two parents of children who perished in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre also weighed in.

"Rather than arming [teachers] with a firearm, I would arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these attacks in the first place" by making sure that troubled students get the mental health and counseling services they need, said Nicole Hockley, a co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit that works to protect children from gun violence, whose 6-year-old son Dylan died during the massacre.

Mark Barden, whose son Daniel, 7, also died at Sandy Hook––and whose wife, Jackie, is also a teacher––said foisting this responsibility on teachers would be unreasonable.

"She [Jackie] will tell you that schoolteachers have more than enough responsibility right now than to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life," said Barden, another Sandy Hook Promise founder.

Even Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who last night faced off with survivors of the Parkland shooting at a CNN Town Hall, disagreed with the president's proposal.

"Well, first, I don't support that," Rubio said after a teacher told him she could not fathom bringing a gun––let alone using it––in a school. "I think I join everyone here in saying what you've done is incredible heroism... I don't support that and I admit to you right now that I answer that as much as a father as I do as a senator. The notion that my kids are going to school with teachers that are armed with a weapon is, frankly, something I'm not comfortable with."

The president, meanwhile, is already denying that he ever suggested arming teachers. He insisted that he was misquoted by CNN and NBC, which he once again branded as "Fake News."

He later doubled down on his support for the NRA.

"What many people don't understand, or don't want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing," he wrote. "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"