Teachers Tell Politicians What They Actually Want To Be Armed With

"We should be focused on legitimately helping our students."

"I went to college to educate children, not because I wanted to kill another human."

Many recent social justice movements have began simply as hashtags on social media and then quickly snowballed into something much bigger, including #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. Now, amid suggestions of possibly arming teachers as a preventative measure against the epidemic of school shootings, educators Brittany Wheaton and Olivia Bertels have sparked discourse about what teachers really need with their #ArmMeWith movement.

The ladies' effort has set off a groundswell of reactions from educators across the country, who have contributed thousands of posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The posts feature a bevy of resources that they feel will serve them better in the classroom than guns — including books, more time with students, smaller class sizes and counselors. 

"I went to college to educate children, not because I wanted to kill another human. If I wanted a job where I was responsible for carrying a firearm, I would have taken a different career path," Wheaton told CNN. "Teachers already shoulder a huge burden when it comes to educating properly, due to lack of funding, support and resources and making sure their students are taken care of emotionally. Asking us to now carry the burden of having the responsibility to kill is irreparably damaging, even if we never have to discharge our weapon."

CNN also spoke with Chris Peck, a Utah high school English teacher, who suggested that smaller class sizes and more in-depth training would be a benefit to teachers, especially in helping them identify students who might need support. 

"We should be focused on legitimately helping our students rather than arming teachers and turning them into soldiers in a place where students should feel safe," Peck said to the news organization.

While #ArmMeWith adds the much-needed voices of teachers into the gun control debate, other movements — such as the #NeverAgain movement started by survivors of last week's shooting in Parkland, Fla. — have already affected some change. Most notably, it helped prompt Florida Governor Rick Scott to issue a proposal to ban the sale of firearms to any person younger than 21 years of age.

Perhaps #ArmWithMe can help aid American educators the help and resources they truly need.

(H/T: CNN)


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