President Donald Trump said one solution for school shootings may be to arm the teachers and staff who are already present at the schools, which may reduce the duration of such an attack and which may also serve as a deterrent. Subsequently, teachers across the nation have begun responding to the idea with alternative suggestions.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press: Using the #ArmMeWith hashtag, teachers across the nation — including in Michigan —were responding loud and clear this week to proposals from President Donald Trump and others to arm teachers with weapons so they can respond to school shootings.
USA Today reports that the movement was created on Instagram by teachers Olivia Bertels (@missbertels_) and Brittany Wheaton (@thesuperheroteacher). The teachers said they want to be armed, but not with guns. Instead, they feel there are other things their classrooms lack.
Now in full swing, many other teachers have taken up the hashtag, and they’ve been suggesting practical solutions to the problems that plague schools. For instance:
- lower class sizes,
- better resources to help students living in poverty,
- school psychologists and mental health care,
- more instruction time,
- resources for kids struggling with anxiety or depression,
- basic supplies,
- books, including those which develop empathy,
- support from parents and school leaders.
As for arming teachers with guns, the Detroit Free Press reports: Trump’s proposal has been met with widespread criticism among some of the nation’s teaching force.
“Teachers don’t want to be armed, we want to teach,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a news release. “We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters. No amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR15.”
Some examples of #ArmMeWith posts on Twitter follow.
— Gryffindor_Granny (@Lizmwall) February 22, 2018
— Amy West (@WestWordsAPHS) February 22, 2018
#ArmMeWith more resources for kids struggling with issues at home, anxiety, depression
— Wiechel (@wiecheln) February 23, 2018
I don’t need to be armed with a gun but rather #ArmMeWith
•legislature that puts our children’s lives before your guns
•funding to truly support my students
•more time to build a class community instead of inundating them with testing
•action not just thoughts and prayers
— Natalie Flaten (@Flaten_CCHS) February 21, 2018
#ArmMeWith Snacks to feed my hungry students who can’t focus. #ArmMeWith A curriculum that focuses on student passions rather than raising test scores. #ArmMeWith a comprehensive school counseling program. DO NOT #ArmMeWith a gun. I teach to raise up the future, not to bury it.
— Noelle Clark (@teachnoelle) February 23, 2018
#armmewith books that help develop empathy and reduce the stigma of mental health struggles.
— Stephanie tanner (@tannertheteach) February 18, 2018
#ArmMeWith School counselors, nurses, social workers, meals/glasses/medical & dental care/shelter/clothing for students & families in need. What do you want to be armed with? @EducationMN @NEAToday @AFTunion https://t.co/U9hc4NG1Nh
— Callie Bush (@calliembush) February 17, 2018
You know what? While we’re at it, #ArmMeWith a support structure of colleagues, admin, students, parents, and community leaders who are passionate about activism and advocacy in measurable ways.
— Mrs. Haddad (@heymrshaddad) February 21, 2018