Colorado teachers press lawmakers for safety after shooting

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The shooting at East High School in Denver, Colorado, has a lot of people in the state shaken. That’s especially true of teachers. All it takes is one such incident to make just about anyone a little nervous, but when you see school shootings taking place all over, it’s kind of understandable for them to be a tad twitchy.


But it seems that Colorado teachers are more than a touch bothered by what happened. They’re demanding changes.

Colorado teachers flooded into the state Capitol Friday to press for better protections for students and school staff after a 17-year-old Denver student shot two administrators, fled to the mountains and killed himself.

Roughly 1,500 teachers and their supporters called for improved school security, more mental health support and tighter gun control measures, adding to pressure on lawmakers a day after students and parents converged at the Capitol to make similar demands.

School shootings are becoming increasingly frequent in the U.S., and teachers at the rally voiced the fears they feel during safety lockdowns that are now regular occurrences.

They also raised questions about the circumstances surrounding Wednesday’s shooting at East High School, which came as the boy was being patted down for weapons, a daily requirement because of his behavioral issues including a pending firearm charge, according to school officials.


Now, considering what happened in Denver, I get them being concerned. This was someone with a history of behavioral issues which warranted a specific pat down because of weapons charges, and shockingly, he had a firearm.

Frankly, some of what they’re asking for is reasonable.

School security is a net benefit for everyone. Increased mental health resources are something I’m definitely going to support, especially in light of my own recent experiences. On those two, I find little to disagree with these teachers on.

Gun control is where I’m forced to part ways, though.

For one thing, this is a high school kid. He lawfully cannot purchase a handgun lawfully. Colorado has a mandatory storage law in place. What more can reasonably be done with regard to firearm laws that weren’t already in place in the state?

Oh, there are suggestions on the table. A red flag law and raising the age for long gun purchases to 21 are up for consideration, and it seems the teachers are supportive of these measures. However, none of them would have done a blasted thing to stop this shooting.


It should be remembered, though, that these souls don’t necessarily represent the totality of teachers in the state of Colorado. Many others may agree with better mental health efforts and/or heightened school security but aren’t remotely interested in more gun control.

I suspect a great many wish the state would allow them to carry their own firearms in school. I imagine this particular student would have carried himself a bit differently if he knew that he might get popped by his math teacher if he drew a firearm.

Unfortunately, those teachers never get the news microphone placed in front of them. Funny how that shakes out.

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