Guns, teachers and respect

Updated
Carolyn Cain teaches special education kids in kindergarten to the 6th grade in Utah County, Utah.
Carolyn Cain teaches special education kids in kindergarten to the 6th grade in Utah County, Utah.

Ed Schultz of “The Ed Show” on msnbc interviewed an elementary school teacher Wednesday about her decision to get a concealed-carry permit in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

Her reasons for planning to carry a gun in her special education classroom are interesting. But during the pre-interview she shared something that caught me by surprise.

The latest poll shows only 27% of Americans support the idea of teachers carrying guns in class. 64% are opposed to the idea. Teacher Carolyn Cain told me she feels insulted by this: she told me it sounds like Americans don’t think teachers are capable of getting trained or wouldn’t be able to protect their students as competently as any rookie police officer.

What I wanted to tell her is that she’s completely wrong about the sentiment. I’d bet most Americans, like me, think teachers are not incapable but are too valuable to be carrying guns around in school.

Teachers have an incredible responsibility already. They shouldn’t have to add gun training to their list of teaching requirements. Are they paid enough money to take personal time to learn how to handle a gun? Wouldn’t we rather they focus on teaching our children and not defending them?

My parents were teachers, my sister-in-law is a teacher, my husband is a teacher, my daughter depends on her elementary school teachers. They shouldn’t have to pack heat on the job. Their time and energy is so critical that we have actually hired separate teams of people who protect kids so that teachers can teach. Those people are called police officers and firefighters.

So, to any teacher who feels insulted by parents who think teachers shouldn’t carry guns, think again. We actually believe you’re too busy to worry about stopping a crazed gunman. We entrust you with our children so they can learn. We expect police and mayors and legislators and presidents to make laws that keep our children safe.

Teachers, I believe I can safely say most of you are brilliant and talented and dedicated and amazing. You put in your own time and often your own money to educate and raise our children. You have enough to do.

Guns, teachers and respect

Updated