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:
At a “listening session” with survivors of school shootings and victims’ families, President Donald Trump said he w… https://t.co/SYSJw5OoZK— HuffPost (@HuffPost) 1519263800.0
“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, toldEducation 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.
@bessbell I'm a teacher, and I don't want one, nor should I have one. Want to arm me? Start paying me six figures,… https://t.co/hjB8xFDbVw— Jolie Lindley (@Jolie Lindley) 1519185794.0
I’m a teacher. Don’t give me a gun. Give me the supplies I need, the salary I deserve, and the common-sense gun laws to protect my kids.— Jocelyn ✡️ (@Jocelyn ✡️) 1519170153.0
This "Listening Session" reveals itself to be what it truly is: NRA propaganda for guns, guns, and more guns. I'… https://t.co/JNDD6WXlBZ— liz murdock (@liz murdock) 1519253818.0
Hi, I'm a teacher. I don't want a gun. I could use some more dry erase markers. Thanks for your time.— Jacob Leland (@Jacob Leland) 1519262662.0
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."
My brother is a high school teacher in LA. He tells me that if teachers are required to carry guns that he and most… https://t.co/pEcKr8N71X— Chris (@Chris) 1519285977.0
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."
Rubio tells a teacher who sheltered kids in her classroom during the shooting that he doesn’t support Trump’s sugge… https://t.co/rBBbFbWHOh— CNN Politics (@CNN Politics) 1519267655.0
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."
I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibil… https://t.co/Tvi4fzLbCA— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1519302388.0
....immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would als… https://t.co/wyg77QWPfn— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1519303208.0
....History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approxima… https://t.co/v68k63he25— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1519304049.0
....If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and ot… https://t.co/NTnUcZxrle— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1519304718.0
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!"
What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard… https://t.co/4I87uxDsqD— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1519309895.0