This Side of Third

…and second

Here’s The Thing


I don’t have biological children, so my students are my kids.  It’s always been that way.  They are fiercely mine when I have them as current students, and they will still be my kids long after they’ve left me.  I love them, am frustrated by them, despise them, cry for them, cry with them, and lose sleep over them.  I want them to succeed, to be safe, to be cared for when they’re out of my care, to be productive members of the community, and to know that all I want is the best for them.

There have been many I’ve wanted to bring home and raise, because all other options were bleak.  I’m hard on them, have high expectations of them, push them, and am sometimes borderline mean to them.  I listen to, joke with, poke fun at, question, cajole, admonish, sing with, dance for, and play with them.  I’ve been called mom, dad, and sir.  I’ve been hit, kicked, cursed at, had my thumb broken, scratched, bit, and had whiplash twice.  I’ve been in special education for 20 years.  It’s an amazing job.  It’s a fun, scary, awful, crazy, beautiful, bittersweet, sometimes tragic, always changing, and rarely easy job.  I’m overwhelmed, under paid, and angry a lot of the time.  Nevertheless, these children are mine, and I love them.

So here’s the thing.  Regardless of whether its gun control, mental health, poor parenting, or a combination of myriad reasons, the government is letting us down.  They refuse to create and pass legislation concerning guns, but have no problem cutting back on health care, specifically mental health care, that people so desperately need.  Until such time as it is OK to send kids to school without fear of them not returning home, we should consider allowing our own protection in schools.

The argument has been made that schools cannot afford basic necessities, let alone provide their staff with arms, training, certification, etc.  Don’t arm everyone.  Not everyone is willing to carry a firearm.  Not everyone believes this is the answer, and that’s fine.  It may not be the answer, but until something else changes, why not at least try something new.

Keep a firearm in the safe that only two people can access, and only two people are trained and certified to use.  Ask for volunteers.  You may be surprised at the number of people who want to do this.  In fact, I volunteer as tribute.

I’ll purchase my own weapon and pay for training out-of-pocket.  I’ll pay for time at the range and become the next Annie Oakley.  I’ll pay for a concealed carry permit.  I’ll do what I need to do to keep my kids safe.

I’m not scared that this could happen at my school.  I’m pissed that this is happening at any school.  I’m pissed that we’ve had to teach 5-year-olds what to do in an active shooter situation in a place where they should be playing with friends, and learning to read, count, and share.

Our government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people, seems to have forgotten about its most vulnerable people.  We the people need to change this.  Call, write, vote, protest, Tweet, post, blog, study, and fight.  No child, family, or community deserves this tragedy.


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