You may remember Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis’s face from the Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012 in Newtown, CT. She was acclaimed as a hero for remaining calm and keeping her students safe in a school bathroom during the massacre.
Roig-DeBellis was interviewed by MSNBC’s Ari Melber last Thursday. She was shown a clip of Dr Ben Carson’s “solution” for gun safety in schools after the Oregon shooting. Carson argues that there should be more guns in schools:
“Whether it is a kindergarten teacher who is well-trained, or a retired policeman, or someone who can stop the carnage, I think it makes a lot of sense.”
She did not waste time in destroying Carson’s ridiculous idea:
“I am a teacher. My training is in elementary education. […] That is my expertise. That is what I know how to do. That is my responsibility. As a teacher, it is not my responsibility to carry a gun or know how to use it.”
Teachers are already being trained on how to participate in lockdown procedures; it would be inconceivable that, in addition to learning curricula, assessment tools, and differentiated instruction, teachers must also learn sharp shooting!
Not to mention, where would you put a firearm in a classroom? How would you ensure that the teacher could access it easily in an emergency, but that no children can access it? We have all been disgusted hearing about kids shooting kids time after time after time.
And Dr. Carson is suggesting that we put more guns within arm’s reach of kindergarten kids? Will teachers be going to shooting ranges for Professional Development days now, rather than honing their teaching skills?
Elementary teacher Roig-DeBellis is right to bring the focus back to allowing teachers to do what they are trained to do: teach. Defending students from an armed gunman shouldn’t be a teacher’s job, it should be everyone’s job. And we can start by revisiting gun and ammunition legislation.