Pay teachers well, but don't arm them
To the editor: The hostility toward public school teachers, vehemently displayed by many of the Republican politicians in Wisconsin and Michigan with their platform to take away their ability to collectively bargain or organize as a union, cannot be ignored.
The governor of Indiana recently claimed "teachers are making too much money." Similar chants are proclaimed in many other parts of the country, especially the coal region of eastern Pennsylvania.
Suddenly, after the horrendous massacre of students in Connecticut, there are politicians who actually believe teachers should be armed. How crazy are these individuals?
The politicians in Tennessee noted: If a gunman entered a school with a resource officer, that officer would be the first person he or she would "take out." If a teacher had a gun, an educator trained to handle the weapon, a gunman would not know who this person is, and the scenario would change. The governor of Tennessee supports this position.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., said, it's now a time for a "reasonable discussion" about having armed adults inside our schools.
Do anti-gun-control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands?
Current federal and state laws ensure that no teacher, administrator or adult can have a gun on school property. But now Republicans who don't trust teachers to unionize want to give a teacher a gun and suddenly he or she is a Navy SEAL. How crazy is this idea?
I realize times have changed. Many years ago, in grade school, we had "pea-shooters" and projected "spit balls" at other students. This was a major crime if we were caught doing this.
Teachers today are now faced with many unthinkable situations, so drastic and different from my early school days, so different from my years of teaching school (from 1969 to 1982). But look at the faces of those kids in Connecticut: smiles, laughter, desire for knowledge, talent - all unique "little people," with a deep trust in the teacher by both the child and parent. Kids have not changed.
Teachers are trained to help parents develop their children. They are special people with abilities, talents, personalities, patience and intelligence, a desire to guide our children through their formative years, to produce the leaders of the next generation. They deserve to be paid well for their work, but should not be asked to become armed with a gun to protect our children or themselves.