This week, my school board voted to deputize and arm 30 administrators in the district. We do not have the money to pay for one deputy in each school, so middle and high schools will get an officer. Elementary Schools will have deputized administrators.
Has any one considered how often elementary administrators are in close proximity to kids? How will this change the interaction they have with our littlest learners? What will be of morning hugs?
This is a culture shifting scenario.
As we look for ways to dismantle oppression for our students, one of the things that we’re going to now need to add to our plates is a discussion of guns in public schools.
Let me say, I’m not in favor of teachers, paraprofessionals or administrators wearing guns, or keeping guns on campus.
We can’t seem to have actual conversations about systemic racism in most public school spaces.
We can’t seem to have actual conversations about oppression and access in most public school spaces.
Yet, we can send millions of dollars to districts to arm teachers and provide for training on how to use weapons on active shooters that were probably former students?
The lunacy of it all is that there are actual teachers who are more comfortable talking about how to give teachers access to weapons than how to give black and brown students access to a full and fair education.
Folks our system is broken.
The reality is that it is only a matter of time before black and brown students who are deemed non-compliant are gunned down in their schools by a teacher who has never been trained to de-escalate behavior.
I would encourage my school district and others here in Florida who are considering arming teachers to arm them with training that relates to anti-racist work. If we are not aware of our own biases, we can not teach our children through an equity lens.
If we are not aware of our own biases, we should definitely NOT be carrying weapons into schools.
At this moment, most of our educators are NOT aware of their biases and are not even being prodded to consider them. Yet, we are being pressed to consider the new normal of guns in our schools.
We can do better. Our districts need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time on this.