This post was submitted by a member of the WeAreTeachers community who wishes to remain anonymous. This post also discusses school shootings and their victims.
Recently, a parent posted a picture on Facebook of a special door-securing mechanism, saying “all parents, teachers, and PTO folks should know about this.”
Our school already has them in every classroom.
I wanted to reply that maybe if more parents actually spent more time in our schools rather than judging from the sidelines, they would be more knowledgeable about what’s really going on.
I wanted to tell them how my colleagues and I have had to watch footage of the Parkland shooting, including real cellphone video of kids screaming and being shot.
We endured hours of training, with some trainers a little too gung ho about using fake guns to shoot a few feet from our heads to see if we would employ “fight or flight” in real time.
I wanted to explain how the same trainers tried to gaslight us into believing loss of life at Sandy Hook could have been “prevented” if a substitute teacher had been “properly trained” like we were.
I wanted to say that if the folks in our district chose to be more caring and inclusive on a daily basis rather than using our board meetings to ban books and curriculum, then maybe we wouldn’t be in this position.
I wanted to say that a door guard is supposedly the “cure,” but it won’t prevent school shootings from happening.
How about encouraging more mental health awareness, hiring more counselors, and taking a restorative justice approach to students’ behavior problems?
I wanted to say that while their posts about door guards and praises of more heavily armed schools makes them “feel better,” ignoring all the root causes—like mentally disturbed individuals getting their hands on military-grade weapons—makes me feel so much worse.
I wanted to say these things and so much more, but you see, I live and work in the same district where I teach. My kids are friends with their kids. My kids and my career would pay the price for my “unpopular” opinions.
So thank you for letting me state what I wanted to say here in this safe space. Thank you.
Well said, and I understand backlash. It is a reality in teaching. My classroom door is expected to be locked and a colleague’s husband installed a metal chord to prevent it from being opened if the glass is shot out – at his own expense. But then the end door is left open if there is a training and people need to get in. Decide how safe my classroom really is and follow the rules.