The recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School may finally be the catalyst for change for gun reform in this country. But, at what cost? Donald Trump has been floating around the idea of arming teachers in schools. I say floating because as we know from previous experience, Trump may later say he never said that. It seems like he may be moving forward with this because he later added that armed teachers would receive bonus pay. Really?!?!
Today, I’m not going to debate whether our teachers should be armed. Instead, I want you to consider that bonus pay remark. How is it that you can suddenly find bonus pay for a teacher to carry a gun in the schools, but you can’t find some bonus pay to reimburse teachers for all the school supplies that they have to buy throughout the year? The pencils, the crayons, the paper, the tissues, hand sanitizer, books, and the list goes on. Do you really think that little $250 line-item deduction on the tax return is equivalent to the amount that teachers that truly spend?
If we can find bonus pay for our armed teachers, then I think we can find bonus pay for all of our schools. Let’s put more money to put into our schools so that we have smaller class sizes. Let’s go back to the days when there were multiple guidance counselors in one school. I believe we can find the funding so that one guidance counselor is not being shared for an entire school district. We need to have advocates that focus on our children’s social, emotional, and mental health. Let’s continually fund on bullying and cyberbullying programming. Let’s more money in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for our students that need some additional help instead of letting them fall behind. Let’s put money back into arts education, home economics, and shop. If we can find bonus pay for armed teachers, then please stop taking away everything else from our schools, our teachers, and most importantly, our students.