Latest Reason Not To Arm Teachers: They Suck At Their Jobs?

The American political left loves them some teachers. We constantly hear about how teachers are freaking heroes and how we need to bend over and kiss their butts for deigning to take a job with a decent rate of pay, great benefits, and summers off. We’re told they’re really rock stars and should get even more of everything just for being teachers.

And, honestly, I’m not in total disagreement with that. Teaching is hard. I know what a knucklehead I was in school, and none of my teachers ever strangled me, so I get it to some degree. I’m not in total agreement, mind you, but I do recognize that the job does have its challenges, especially if you have one of my kids in your class.

But I generally trust teachers, despite having run into a few bad ones. I know that most are decent, law-abiding people. That’s why I trust them to carry firearms close to my children.

However, it seems that the same leftists who scream about how awesome teachers are, now seem to be taking a different approach to armed teachers. It seems they can’t be trusted with guns because so many of them suck at their jobs.

A well-recognized problem facing the teaching profession is how to prepare teachers for classroom management, a euphemistic term for keeping order in the classroom. Over the years, I have heard from countless school principals that new teachers are underprepared to “manage” a classroom, and this complaint confirms both my own experience of feeling ill-prepared to lead a classroom and the experiences of nearly all first-year teachers I’ve ever known.

Often, new teachers (and some experienced teachers) treat students in deeply inhumane ways, through public humiliation, exclusion and punitive consequences. In part, this is because teacher-training programs generally focus on the nurturing side of teachers’ work, but rarely acknowledge fully the very real expectation that teachers regulate student behavior. Without adequate training, teachers flounder as they encounter typical and atypical student behaviors.

Wait, some of these teachers are engaging in inhumane treatment of students? And that’s why they shouldn’t carry guns in the classroom?

If they’re treating students inhumanely, why are they even in the classroom? The problem then isn’t arming them. It’s them being a teacher at all. Teachers who suck at their jobs shouldn’t keep their jobs, plain and simple. If you’re worried about them being armed, don’t be. Fire them, and then the problem is removed.

Oh, but it seems they’re also racist.

To prepare U.S. teachers to respond to school shooters, teacher-educators would likely be driven to cultivate a very different professional vision in new teachers. Rather than a hopeful stance, teachers would be taught to assume a fearful one. Rather than dismantling their biases, teachers would likely fortify them. Teachers would need to remain vigilant and see their classrooms as potential battlefields at all times. Potential threats would need to be swiftly assessed, and teachers — 80 percent of whom are white — would likely draw on the same problematic social frameworks that police do in determining who is good and who is bad.

Unfortunately, this premise assumes that teachers would be using potentially lethal force to enforce order, something that’s not remotely accurate. It’s based on the idea that somehow, teachers would take on a police-like role. You see, police take an adversarial role with the public in part because the public started treating police as adversaries. Further, cops are gunned down far too often because they’re cops. In fact, the entire dynamic is different, and it’s not the presence of a gun that changes that dynamic. It’s the role they each fill in society.

Police exist primarily to interact with the worst of society. They may work in a neighborhood for years, and many in that neighborhood may never speak with the officer. But that officer knows every scumbag in that ‘hood. Every one. He or she sees the worst in that neighborhood, and while they may know that there are good people there, it still colors their perspective.

Teachers, on the other hand, deal with a broader cross-section of the population in that regard. While they may teach the worst of the worst, they also invariably have great students who want to learn.

It would be nice if supposed experts could recognize that.

But it’ll also be funny to see these same people singing teachers’ praises when it comes time to talk about an increase in education spending. It’s like they can’t make up their minds on anything.

Feb 24, 2021 11:00 AM ET