How About This, Mr. President? Arm Yourself With Some Decency

Do I really have to explain why I shouldn’t have a gun in my classroom? Is this who we are? Is this how far down the rabbit hole we’ve fallen? How about this first, Mr. President. #ArmYourself with the decency not to glorify killing in our schools, what with your frankly disgusting off-the-cuff declaration that an armed teacher would have " shot the hell out of" Parkland's Nikolas Cruz. #ArmYourself with the prescience to see that as soon as teachers are incentivized to wear guns, entire legions of educators will likely not only leave teaching, but future teachers will look to other professions, ones where carrying a firearm isn’t a part of the job description. #ArmYourself with the foresight to know that as soon as we arm teachers with guns, not only does the likelihood of death in our schools skyrocket, but the next students to die will likely not be White, but rather Black or Brown, whose horseplay, to biased eyes, appears "threatening" rather than endearing. #ArmYourself with the capacity to imagine the next school shooting which may see an armed teacher of color confronted by a stampeding charge of law enforcement. Do I even have to say what would likely happen next? #ArmYourself with the story of Philando Castile, a Black American with a concealed carry permit, shot dead by a police officer. Who was the good guy with a gun then? #ArmYourself with the spine to disregard the loving throng at CPAC, the same crowd that chanted “lock her up” all the while more and more members of your campaign face investigation and indictment. #ArmYourself with the wisdom to listen to the youth who have the courage to speak truth to power, the guileless determination to change their world, and a ripening enfranchisement that will sweep you, Mr. President, out of office. #ArmYourself with the courage to call out Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesch, not as heroes, but as disgraceful partisans, whose disgusting insinuations that the media "loves mass shooting," and that the mobilization after Parkland is simply to "eliminate all individual freedoms," couldn’t even wait until the 17 bodies were cold in the ground. Mr. President, we’re through. We’re through with the politically bought drivel that spews forth from you and your equally bought political compatriots while our children bleed out in classrooms and huddle under desks. You want to arm teachers like me? Try arming up for 2020, ‘cause you’re through.
Zachary Wright 
Zachary Wright is an assistant professor of practice at Relay Graduate School of Education, serving Philadelphia and Camden, and a communications activist at Education Post. Prior, he was the twelfth-grade world literature and Advanced Placement literature teacher at Mastery Charter School's Shoemaker Campus, where he taught students for eight years—including the school's first eight graduating ...

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