Dear Editor:

The arming of our teachers, even on a voluntary basis, is damaging to the education profession and to education itself.

Education is already in crisis. More than ever before we need good teachers. We need to attract the best into the profession.

What bright, articulate and talented individual would choose education, as a profession knowing the dangers that decision would bring? It seems that teachers are the solution to all society's ills.

When parents don't teach their children manners, let the teachers do it. No student responsibility, no problem. Let the teachers do it.

No respect for authority, no surprise and again no problem, the teacher will cover that too. Now it seems that teachers are being called upon to do the jobs of our elected o cials.

Arming teachers is a smokescreen that allows elected officials to appear to be doing something while they are in actuality avoiding real solutions that will force them to take an unpopular stand.

Teachers should never be placed in the position of being bodyguards, to place their own lives in danger, to face huge liability, to suffer emotional distress from the real possibility of harming the very students they are attempting to protect when those students are placed in the crossfire.

Teachers with a handgun will be out gunned and will place everyone in their presence in more danger because they will make themselves targets.

The worse thing about arming teachers is that it won't solve the problem. Somewhere in the focus upon school safety, the fact that our children are not just endangered in schools, but also in theaters, in concerts, in malls, at sporting events and even on their own front porches is being ignored.

Instead of introducing a bill like this, how about introducing a bill that will forbid a citizen of this state from purchasing an assault style weapon or how about repealing the Alabama law that allows sellers to sell their guns at gun shows and area markets without background checks as long as the seller does not sell guns as his primary source of income.

Dealers are required to do background checks, individual sellers are not in Alabama.

How about allocating the funds to hire an SRO in each school, someone who is trained and experienced and in the profession of protecting others, or how
about putting metal detectors in every school. It has taken years of denial and neglect and cowardice to get to where we are today. It will take us years to erase the effects of that denial, neglect and cowardice, but we have to start somewhere.

The actions we take now need to be part of a broad solution that addresses all aspects of gun violence. Teachers should be allowed to concentrate on their job of teaching.

All this smokescreen legislation does is allow our elected officials the illusion they are doing theirs.

— Kathy Woodson, Pisgah

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