South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Lindbergh parent says no guns for teachers in class


To the editor:

It pains me to witness people using an issue as important as gun violence in our schools as an opportunity to chest-thump for their “side.” My children and their beloved teachers’ lives are not your proving ground.

As the parent of children in  Lindbergh Schools, I have seen firsthand just how impossible it will be to fortify schools. There is glass everywhere.

Even after you secure the building, what will you do about the fields, the playgrounds, the buses in the lots?

Can teachers both nurture students and perceive them as a mortal threat? Not everyone is even comfortable with “resource officers” in schools. While they make parents feel more secure, much research has suggested that their presence has a ratcheting effect on school discipline and consequences.

Teachers’ attention is split so many ways. Many studies have established that the mind can only track so many things before higher decision-making is compromised.

How will a teacher keep a gun close enough at hand to be useful without endangering students? If the gun is stored securely away from children, then it is useless in an emergency.

This is a problem not just for teachers. Numerous incidents have shown professional law enforcement officers losing control of their weapons to elementary school students in classrooms.

Would students report abusive teachers if they knew they had a gun in the classroom? What if the teacher with a gun developed a mental health problem? Parents would be trading the illusion of security against a statistically unlikely threat for a myriad of real-life accidents waiting to happen.

Police enjoy broad protections under the law if they kill someone in the line of duty. Will teachers? What liabilities will teachers incur if a child gets hold of their gun? What kind of special pension will teachers killed in the line of duty receive?

Perhaps a comparison with tobacco would be appropriate. The preceding generation allowed people of all ages to buy tobacco and smoke cigarettes everywhere. Now if you really want to light up, you still can. You just can’t kill the rest of us with your addiction.

Teachers don’t need to care more about students.

Teachers don’t need to become police officers.

Kellee Bohannon


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