Now Racist Teachers Are the Issue With Armed School Staff?

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Tennessee has a new law that will allow armed school staff.

That is, of course, if the school system will allow them to be armed, they go through an extensive training course, and then actually carry. It's not an ideal system by any stretch of the imagination, yet it's what passed.


And a lot of people are freaking out about it, including some teachers who apparently don't realize they get the choice.

I can't help but look at much of this and think that for people who sing teachers' praises every single day, treating them like unsung and underpaid heroes, they don't have a lot of faith in teachers.

Now, it seems The Grio--a publication that can make anything and everything racist--says one of the problems with the law is that black kids are going to get shot.

However, giving teachers guns will not make schools safer.

Just as unarmed Black people are disproportionately victimized by police in communities, Black children are endangered by Tennessee’s law. Black children are already disproportionately subjected to overly punitive discipline. Tennessee’s law will allow educators to carry concealed weapons, without notice to parents or students about which educators are armed. Most alarming, this action is contrary to research that shows that punitive interventions, like heightened police presence in schools, have little positive impact on school violence. If guns in schools are the problem, then why are lawmakers passing bills to put more guns in schools? I argue that lawmakers are unwilling to enact evidence-based school safety interventions, like gun-control measures and restorative practices because they are committed to a narrative of “school safety” that is racialized, limited, and detached from research.

Many interventions implemented in schools in the name of “school safety” are racialized, meaning that they rely upon stereotypes about the criminality of Black youth.  These stereotypes cast Black students as lazy, criminally minded, intellectually limited, and defiant. These stereotypes persist despite research showing that Black students do not misbehave more than their white peers. As a result, Black children are disproportionately subjected to overly punitive discipline interventions, including suspensions, expulsions, and arrests, that facilitate their exclusion from schools.


You can go and read the whole thing if you want, but we get the gist of it. Apparently, teachers are so racist that black students are going to get shot because teachers are so racist they think black kids misbehave more.

Holy. Crap.


Let's understand that none of these guns are disciplinary tools. While teachers are going to be permitted, if their school allows, to have a gun, that doesn't mean they'll be able to point it at kids who are talking in class just to get them to shut up, no matter how tempting that might be.

I'm also pretty sure that's going to be reinforced in the training these teachers will receive.

What's more, there's absolutely no evidence of this happening anywhere, and teachers are already lawfully carrying firearms in a number of states already. Tennessee isn't breaking ground here. This is already the law elsewhere.

If this were likely to be a problem, as the author claims, why aren't we seeing it happen already?

"But mostly black or Latino schools are more likely to have school resource officers and also have more students being arrested."

School resource officers are sworn law enforcement officers whose job it is, among other things, to arrest people who break the law. We can debate whether that's good or bad all we want, but SROs aren't teachers. What they do or don't do is largely irrelevant to the discussion.

That didn't stop the author, a law professor at Georgetown, from bringing it up anyway.

See, the problem for her is that she's making a claim for which there is no evidence to support, so she grasps at evidence of other things to try and bolster her claims.


This would be valid if this were a novel measure. It's not, though, which means if this were a problem, she should be able to provide data supporting her claim.

The fact that she hasn't just illustrates it's a non-issue.

But I do find it amusing that the side of things that typically celebrates teachers as everything short of saints--and some cross that particular line from time to time--now want us to believe that these educators are so mentally unbalanced that rather than send a kid to the principal's office, they're just going to shoot them.

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