Hearing the Shots from the Other Side of the Desk
Looking at the Educators Side of America’s School Shooting Epidemic.
In 2017 alone, over 3,000 teenagers were killed in their school, or near it. In another light, this sends fear down the spines of school staff. Are teachers afraid to go to work everyday due to these school shootings? A common perspective to take is that of the students and with the recent Parkland shooting, we’ve seen figures like David Hogg rise up and voice their thoughts, but another important side to look at is the the educators themselves. The teachers are the ones going to work everyday, knowing that a child could have a fire arm in their bag. There have been plenty of quarrels and debates to figure out solutions to these tragedies. Some as simple as placing a metal detector in every school building, to giving guns to the teachers themselves. However, as president Trump announced a plan to arm teachers, News Week ran a story about a teacher in Georgia who opened fire in a classroom at random and barricading himself in there. This begs the question, are all teachers mentally put together enough to have the responsibility of possessing a fire arm, and should they be responsible for all of their students lives? This is a scenario that they simply don’t prepare you for when you’re going for your bachelors.
Laura Callahan, a mother to 3, and a 6th grade teacher at Long Island Lutheran put her hands in her face, as she couldn’t bear to watch the news anymore. She had seen too much of the senseless killings. “I just cant worry about this anymore” she said. “I hate seeing the innocent lives being taken at such young ages, and I go to work in fear every day hoping ill never be in this position.” Its a fear that as an educator, runs down her spine every single day. She almost began crying as the words came out of her mouth. Something that is her passion, she now sees as a potential death sentence.
One way teachers can help is by spotting warning signs in kids. According to mentalhealthamerica.net, two major warning signs in kids are declining care for education and low grades despite high effort. Teachers can reach out to these students and guide them to the proper help they need. An important part of this process is having a well organized and properly trained guidance department that is dedicated to getting kids back on track. “Our guidance department really knows what they’re doing and they do a great job at listening to kids to help them get back to where they need to be mentally” said Laura. The more schools and teachers that take these steps, the more chance there is that they are potentially saving lives. However, until we take more steps like these to help kids who could be in mental disarray, teachers will have targets on their backs.