Life Lessons, Parenting

Dear Teachers,

I’ve been trying to write this for two days. I keep writing and erasing, writing and erasing.

Because the truth is, I can’t find enough words of gratitude for what it is you do for all of us on a daily basis.

I started to think back to my own years of schooling and all of the amazing educators I was fortunate enough to have. Every single one of you were brilliant, even those that I didn’t care for, especially the ones I didn’t care for because I probably learned the most from you.

Your patience, your dedication, your passion. It all resonated with me. I remember your names, your faces, your messages, your encouragement, your wisdom, your individual skill sets, your special qualities that made you unique, your ability to remember our names 20 years later, your ability to show up for us.

You set me up for success to brave this world. You paved the way for me and all of your students, because that’s what you signed up to do.

You chose your career on sheer selflessness. You chose it on passion. You chose it based on the love for children. The love to educate our youth and to make them better. We are all keenly aware that you didn’t choose this path based on the financial reward.

You spend your own money on supplies, you have very little free time in the evenings and on weekends. You spend those hours grading papers, answering parents’ emails and texts, planning, conferencing, organizing, thinking, crafting.

Now I have a school aged child of my own. In the most violent time in history, I’m raising a child. And you, dear teachers, are raising my child right along with me, carrying burdens that I cannot fathom.

You spend more time with our children on a daily basis than we do during the course of the week. You know them better than we do in some aspects. You have tasks so large that we as parents can not reconcile in our minds how you manage not only the personalities of 15-60 students, but of their parents too.

You are an educator, a babysitter, a therapist, a nurse, a referee, a judge, a mediator, an analyst, a friend, a confidant, a mentor, and a coach all rolled into one. There’s no other profession like yours where you have to wear so many hats.

You have to bear the brunt of how much each and everyone of us suck at parenting in a million different ways.

And here, in 2018, you now have to enter your school on a daily basis faced with a fear so large, so insurmountable, that my heart aches for you. In addition to all of the responsibilities you already have, you now have to worry, and even prepare, to take a bullet for our kids. You have to have that additional nagging stress of “what if today is the day it’s our school?”.

I just can’t sit with that comfortably. It rocks me to my core that this is what it’s come to.

And as I scroll through social media today, I see some offering up your services to arm you with guns, train you to also be policemen and women of our schools to combat the evilness that has penetrated our schools over and over. Some want you to bear that load of being the one to pull the trigger in the face of danger, of delineating and diffusing a violent situation, basically taking on second profession, wear yet another hat.

I see these people, most whom are not teachers, offering this as a solution without even asking you how you feel about it, without even considering the tremendous responsibilities you already carry without having to also worry about carrying a concealed weapon.

And I’m sorry.

I’m sorry so much has fallen on you. It’s unfair. All of it.

So much stress, so much worry, so much anxiety, so much thought process that already goes into your daily grind. I cannot imagine how this all feels to you right now.

As a parent, I have felt sick to my stomach this week when I’ve dropped my child off to school. I should never have to have the thought in my mind that this might be the last time I see her when she’s simply going to school, a place that should obviously be a safe haven.

I cannot imagine how you feel inside these buildings in these times of uncertainly, with the amount of tragic events happening weekly within schools’ walls. It’s too heavy.

And I want you to know I’m fighting for change.

I am one fed up mama. I’m fed up for our children and I’m fed up for you, our educators. And I’m pledging to fight until we see more and more years pass before the next tragedy, not just days.

I will fight until there’s a time when this is all a distant memory and we can look back and say, “man, that was a scary time but look how far we’ve come”. I will fight for schools to be a safer place and fight for a day when you feel like you don’t have to have your guard up. I promise, I’m fighting.

I know we can do this and we will but in the meantime, teachers…thank you.

Thank you for showing up.

I will never have enough words of gratitude and thankfulness.

You are true heroes. My words will never fill that statement with enough power.

341 thoughts on “Dear Teachers,”

  1. One month ago, for the first time in 32 years as an educator I had to participate in Active Shooter Training in my School. It was one of the most emotional experiences I have ever had to practice in my life! Hearing the sound of the gun fire in the building and trying to figure out where it was coming from and what my actions had to be all at once was beyond frightening and this was just a practice! #notonemore
    Thank you for you post! I shared on fb 💕

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve worked in the school system for 25 years and I can’t imagine doing anything else. But the biggest problem I’ve seen over the years is less and less discipline or consequences for wrong doing with the students. Administration would rather look the other way or be their ‘friend’ instead of teaching them right from wrong. Kids know nothing is going to happen to them so what they do escalates and here we are. Not the way it was when I was in school.

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  2. I have been a teacher for 24 years and am saddened by the level of disrespect for this profession from so many, especially politicians. I am saddened because I felt compelled to steer my own child away from his passion, my own profession, because I did not want to see him struggle financially for the rest of his life. I am saddened that students, our most vulnerable and most precious future, have to be afraid when they enter the halls of their school. However, I truly do appreciate your sincerity and heartfelt words. They truly brought tears to my eyes. I love my job working with high schoolers every day. They make me laugh, think, cry, and bring me such joy, and that’s all before the teaching and learning even begin. I have gone on to graduations, college graduations, weddings, and even baby showers. I watch these young people grow to become productive members of society and nothing is more gratifying. With that said, though, I will take a bullet, ten, or however many may come my way to protect our most precious gifts, but I absolutely never want to have to keep a gun at school to have to use on someone. I will do whatever I have to to the best of my ability to protect others, but I cannot kill someone nor do I believe I should be expected to. I did not go into law enforcement because I know I could not do that type of job. I respect those who do and thank them for it, and the same is true for anyone who has served this country for our freedom. I have family members in both law enforcement and the military and am truly grateful for their service, but I could not do what I know they have. I have several other family members who are teachers, principals, and counselors. I can honestly say, none of them wants their teaching staff with guns either. We have to do better, and that is NOT the solution. Thank you again for your kind words.

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  3. Thank you Vanessa. I am a mother of four and a grandma of ten. I have a teacher daughter and my first granddaughter who will begin teaching this year after her graduation. My sister and two sister-in-laws who were teachers. And everyone of them dedicated their lives to each child they do and have taught. I also had a father who was a dedicated police officer in a major city. Last night when I watched and heard our President tell the families of the children killed in Florida that they (our Congress?) will give teachers guns that will be concealed carried and they will be fully trained—I became enraged (which rarely ever happens to me). I couldn’t fall asleep for a long time after my head was on my pillow. I woke up this morning with such a sense of powerlessness. Police carry guns for our protection. Teachers teach for the good of every person and beyond to our world! How dare those in power decide the role of the teacher will now be sharing the to roll of the police officer in our society! And even more upsetting is that this is their solution to the insanity of the availability of guns. Why is it so impossible to face this problem with laws that ban assault riffles except for the military and the police?? Shame on you Congress for give others the power we gave to you when you were elected. Ban these weapons and give back the money you are taking to close your eyes on a real solution!
    Thank you for allowing me to be heard. May God have mercy on our nation and those who govern!

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    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Judith. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. It’s frightening to live in the midst of this craziness. I just hope this movement that seems to be happening will make a difference eventually!

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    2. I have been in the educational field since 1993, I have a daughter that is a teacher, two granddaughters in high school and a granddaughter in first grade. I also have all the students on my campus Pre-K through sixth grade, whom I think of as my vey own and would protect them as my very own! I tell them all the time that I love them like my family and won’t ever treat them differently than my very own! I am all about everyone’s opinions, but we need to calm down and REALLY figure out how to best deal with the imminent dangers. Right now the laws do not permit those that are trained to carry, the right to do so in most of the places where the innocent are being killed. The idea that the President is trying to get across is that guns can be used for protection and outlawing what everyone is calling military assult weapons will still allow other types of firearms to be used by those that wish to hurt others. Banning all firearms and changing Second Amendment Rights will not stop the shootings, because the only ones that will have them are the criminals. As a longtime school employee I would rather carry and protect my children and deal with th trauma of a dead intruder than the trauma of the death of even one of my students. It should be a choice to carry and protect, not a ban for everyone. It is almost certain that if an intruder knows that weapons can be used and are carried by unknow adults on campus or anywhere that they will think twice about just attacking, because they will always know that just possibly someone will stop them! I am also all in for police officers placed in every public building for our protection, if that is where everyone thinks our money could be better spent, but it is cheaper and quicker to protect ourselves! Thank you for listening and until we all see this from ALL points of view things will never get better!!!

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      1. But what if the “intruder” is a kid? Even a kid who is or was Your Kid? If I were still in the classroom and there was an intruder in the Bldg , in the Hall, once he or she moved on down the hall I might want to be able to slip out and shoot back… but what if you got out there and knew the face… the person … what if it was a kid you worried about .. a kid you tried to get help… a kid who grabbed your heart because you knew hebir she needed someone to live them even more than they needed to learn about history or science??? What then?

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      2. Thank you Kelly. You are at the scene and can react faster than any other aid. No one wants a teacher who is afraid of firearms to be carrying one. That in itself is another disaster waiting to happen. No one should be FORCED to carry a gun. We must implement a number of deterrents. That includes SROs who are armed and trained professionally and tested annually, metal detectors in some schools, new era high tech methods of hardening the classrooms that teachers can implement quickly and easily, and if need be teachers carrying who are already trained in use of weapons, who will also be tested annually. Once the bad guys realize schools are no longer gun free zones, they’ll reconsider except for the mentally ill. And that’s where stricter background checks are needed. We are in this together so stop fighting amongst yourselves. It is not a one size fits all approach.

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  4. I have to agree that adding the use of firearms isn’t normally included in lesson plans, but we have to remember that in the right hands they are used for protection. If those that want to carry for the ptotection of themselves and others are not allowed to then, states, by law, should place police officers in EVERY SCHOOL, COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY, etc. for protection. As educators we do plan for every emergency possible, always for safety reasons. Now that school shootings are occuring, and the odds are increasing that more and more schools will experience this and we know it, a more proactive stance has to take place. Personally I would rather deal with the trauma of a dead intruder than the death of ANY of my students!!!! Until those that decide to use firearms against others as a way to release their aggressions, get attention, etc. changes/stops, we have to protect ourselves and the innocent children!!!!

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    1. This plan sells more guns. Period. Would lead to who knows what kind of violent mess. Keeps more potential danger in every single building in the country .. you know the same buildings with safety scissors. I’ve taught 32 years. This promotes even more gun complacency. Kids will see weapons as even more needed and normal part of life. Not cool.

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  5. I very much appreciate your words and your thoughts. As an educator I already wear so many hats. I feel being an armed guard on top of all that is too much. I want nothing more than my students and myself to be safe at school, but I know that there are better ways to accomplish this than giving teachers guns. I really do believe that arming teachers is only going to add to the problem.

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    1. I would tend to agree with you. There are several practical answers, but those are over looked , because that would solve problems and interfere with the DC fund raising machinery. This whole issue was hijacked years ago because the greatest pain point is children. This cynicism hurts schools because it is over worked to advance false narratives.

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    2. Thank you so much for putting my thoughts into your words. I am a retired military vet, and a retired teacher but I would not want the responsibility of carrying a weapon. I am thankful that I am retired but I worry about others in the profession that still deal with these issues. I pray for them every day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ollie, thank you for your service, both to our country and to our children, and thank you for recognizing that even with your experience, having a gun in the classroom is too much a burden to bare.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Vanessa,

    I commend you for your thoughtful and eloquent article. I, too, am grateful for the dedication of educators across the country. I am also very much encouraged by the students themselves, and how they will shape our future.

    I am not in the academic field, but I have tried to teach others my whole life. I am a retired veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve. After 37 years in the corporate service industry, I retired 3 years ago. Last year, at age 70, I decided to devote some of my time to helping the teen club at my church as an adult chaperone. I never anticipated what would follow, prompting a letter that I wrote to them. These are excerpts from my letter.

    TO: Alpha Omega Members
    RE:  Why I wanted to join Alpha Omega and what you showed me about life.

    Last month, I decided to join Alpha Omega after seeing all the fun you were having. And I thought perhaps you could benefit from some of life’s experiences that came my way.

    You showed me quickly how much I had it all wrong. I saw right away that you are the example of how to approach life. I was amazed at your positive attitude, your enthusiasm, your fun, and your inclusiveness. So I had it all wrong. It was not I, but you who were showing me how to live life, even in the midst of the bad and sometimes tragic things that surround us.

    I can’t tell you how hopeful and encouraged I am for the future, knowing you all really are making a difference.

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  7. Yes, I was a teacher, also. However, I was also in the army (WAC). Those of us who have been do think that those who are comfortable and well trained should step up to save our children. It would be no different if it were my home instead of my classroom. I would step up and protect the children. I respect those who would not and could not carry a weapon, however, possibly three teachers and 14 students might be alive today if trained conceal carry adults had been present. Let those who feel they can use a weapon to protect other’s lives, and take it upon yourself to train in other methods in the intruder training. We have a great deal of divorce, lack of confidence, and many other factors which create violent children in our midst. I plead with you to be a part of the solution.

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  8. Thank you for posting this and just giving us a “thanks.” I am an educator and also a mother. If we are not going to make more security measures at the schools, then yes I would arm myself, because that means I have more of a fighting chance to save my students (which are like my children) and come home to my own children. I would hate to lose a student and would hate for my own children to be motherless!!

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  9. Vanessa,
    This is my seventh year teaching. I love what I do and I love my students. I would do anything to keep them safe.

    I love what you said here, but have a request. Don’t just fight for us because of this issue. Fight for us always. As an educator I want nothing but the best for every student. When I speak up, reach out, and contact parents it’s because we are a partnership. So often parents attack teachers and see them as a fight to pick rather than a teammate.

    This shouldn’t be the only time you thank a teacher. Email a child’s teacher each year and let them know what you appreciate about them. That is the best gift any teacher can ever get and it means more than any Starbucks gift card ever could.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, amber. I do. I always fight for my child’s teachers. Always. I am constantly emailing, sending gifts, etc. i wouldn’t have written this if I wasn’t that type of person. I didn’t include that in my letter because I’m not one for tooting my own horn in that manner. I appreciate what you’re saying, though. I have implored by reading audience go do the same on my Facebook page.

      Thank you for all you do and thank you for reading!

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  10. Thank YOU for writing this. Teaching is not just what I do but who I am. Thank YOU for believing in us when it feels like no one else does.

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  11. As a former teacher/counselor, I don’t believe any teacher, who is not comfortable with guns, should be asked to carry and I don’t believe anyone is suggesting this. However for those teachers who have extensive gun traning, I believe they could make a difference. There are lots of details to be worked through, but we need to protect these children. Gun control will not work!

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      1. I disagree. When you control guns people use other items as weapons. Ask Great Britain. Axes, knives….even vans have become weapons used in mass casualties. Ask Australia. They’ve had people use knives, arson and even hammers! In fact, more people in the US today are beaten to death than are shot to death. Humans are creative. You can’t stop killings by eliminating guns.

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      2. Jane, NO ONE is saying to eliminate guns and I’m sorry but you cannot kill 17 humans in 4 minutes with knives and hammers. It’s impossible. I appreciate your thoughts but this post was about thanking teachers, not at all about gun control. Please argue elsewhere on that topic. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I expressed the EXACT same feelings today. We are not alone as parents or a community. I will continue to fight right along with you. Thank you for sharing!!!

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  13. Arming school staff is not the answer. Anyone can carry a concealed weapon but only a well trained person can know when to use it. I fear that in panic situation when shots have been fired many teachers might fire their guns randomly without knowing who the assailant is. A hail of bullets ricocheting around the hallways may do more harm than good. I like the idea of armed security guards or police in the schools better.

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  14. Thank you. I’ve been an educator for 25 years. We can solve this problem without arming teachers – if we’re willing to take a long view and make schools places where every kid feels powerful and valuable to the community. This is not an “ideal.” It is possible and many schools around the world succeed at creating this kind of environment. I have to point out that we are NOT living in the most violent time in history, as you state in your otherwise lovely essay. Despite the horrible events in Parkland and other places where innocent people have been slaughtered, almost every indicator points to improvements in safety, health, and life span almost everywhere on the planet. We can’t let ourselves feel scared, and we should not communicate to children that they are living in an unsafe world. Dangers exist, but the best protection against them is to educate ourselves, speak truth, and connect with others in our community – especially those who appear different or “other.” Thank you again.

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  15. Thank you for acknowledging what teachers do!! Teachers have really been on the chopping block lately and everything is being cut from them -salary, benefits, union rights and now our president expects us to be trained in shooting? Seriously? How about a pay in salary increase, smaller class sizes, copy paper and other supplies! How about giving us our $250 tax credit back for supplies. That’s how much I spend in one quarter. Please open your eyes to watch teachers do. I don’t see how anyone would go into teaching in the future. The job is way too hard for such little pay.

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  16. I believe only trained teachers/personell at the school who already HAVE a Concealed Carry License should have a gun. Then trained teachers. And only if they WANT it.

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  17. As a parent, educator and retired police officer I thank you for acknowledging the level of difficulty we teaches have in th classroom daily.
    I too am deeply saddened by the violence in our classroom, lack of respect for authority figures and the racial divide in our society.
    In both professions, educator and police officer I do/did serve without hesitation I served the public that is my calling.
    I hope your letter reach more parents so that we can begin a dialogue with our school districts and heads of government to make Schools safe again.

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  18. Thank you for taking the time to write this and to praise teachers. I just recently retired with 25 years of classroom experience. It was a bittersweet day. So few parents ou there acknowledge any of our hard work, the long hours, the compassion for our students. Most parents find fault, point finger’s, complain and
    expect more and more without giving their own children the support they need at home to be successful. So thank you for your kind words and insight, it was greatly appreciated!

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  19. I am a teacher with a concealed carry permit and with my training I feel that I would absolutely protect my students in the event of an incident. Yes the thought is scary but I think many would feel different if the gun was pointing at them or their class. I would drop the shooter where he stood! It isn’t mandatory that these teachers carry guns, it’s a starting point to talk through solutions. It isn’t about selling more guns… it’s about many different working parts of a possible solution… it isn’t about injecting politics.. it’s about teachers standing up in the face of a terrifying situation and protecting the babies they serve…it’s about respect and morals starting in the home.. it’s about value.. it’s about mental illness awareness.. NOT all gun related!

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    1. Absolutely Nichole. The FL shooting lasted what, like 4 minutes. Police can’t respond that quickly to most schools. A resource officer may be on the other side of the building and be fighting through crowds of panicked students trying to get close to the shooter. An armed teacher (who’s well trained, volunteered, and keeps it concealed on a daily basis) would be able to step in within seconds if the shooting took place near their classroom thus ending the mass casualty rates and SAVING the lives of the students they love instead of watching them die or becoming a statistic themselves.

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  20. Those who suggest arming teachers, administrators and staff usually do not think it should be a flat out mandate, but instead an option to utilize only if the above are A.) willing, B.) thoroughly vetted, and finally, C.) highly trained. Some who are willing may not make the cut and that’s ok. Taking down the signs that state “Gun free zone” even if NO one is armed should also happen. It’s just an invitation to these crazy people.

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    1. Thanks, Mary, but it’s of my belief that these criminals couldn’t care less if there are signs, armed persons, etc. They have assault rifles in most cases and they will get to the good guys first because that’s been proven time and time again that good guys with guns don’t stop mass shootings with rifles. I appreciate your input and respect your opinion. Agree to disagree.

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      1. Vanessa,
        I respect your opinion, and your ability to put it out there without harsh words against those of us who disagree. However, if those with guns won’t look at signs saying, “no guns Allowed,” why are they going to pay attention to a law that says they can’t have a certain kind of gun?

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      2. Hi Maureen. It’s my opinion that guns should be more difficult to obtain. I do not believe I should be able to walk into Walmart and buy an AR15 in 10 minutes. I’m not saying we will win and completely deter ALL criminals but similar to laws against drinking and driving, or any law for that matter, it should be more difficult. Common sense laws. Not abolishing 2A.
        Again, I did not post this to debate my stance on gun control at all. This post was to thank the educators of the country and I do not want to distract from that at all. I don’t care which side of the fence teachers are on, I still thank them endlessly. Full stop.

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  21. I taught high school for a little over 30 years.( Retired now) When the idea of carrying a firearm first came up( Texas passed a bill for teachers to carry years ago), I seriously considered carrying. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do so. Have the gun stolen away, if there was an active shooter missing and hitting a kid, the idea I would HAVE to have a gun every day with me. ( Just a few of the things to consider….I know a guy who was almost fired by his district because a kid saw his pistol inside his pocket. Never mind the school asked him to do so….a parent was adamant he be fired. Not even the kid who saw the gun’s parent.)
    I could see civil and emotional problems to this. ( I can see getting sued for actions or inaction’s. I could see being crucified for actions, good or bad. )
    No, teachers shouldn’t be required, or even asked to carry.
    The job’s hard enough as it is……

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    1. K.D. Thank you for this response. I was wondering how Texas teacher felt about this! And yes, there are just so many variables that make me uncomfortable enough as a parent, I can’t imagine as a teacher. Thank you for all you’ve done for our youth!

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  22. What everybody doesn’t seem to hear is that it will not be mandatory for teachers to carry or train. It will be a choice. It would only work for people who want to be that person. I am an elementary teacher and I would be that person in a second. Training overcomes all fears. If you know WHAT to do, the fear doesn’t control you. It isn’t something everyone should do but let the people who want to step up be that person.

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  23. Ms. Nichols,
    I am currently in my 6th year of teaching, and even just in 6 years the changes have been so dramatic. I think the proper statement for me, is that I am shocked, heartbroken, and concerned with the offer of putting guns in schools. I live in Montana, I have grown up around guns, raised to shoot them, respect them, and own them. But when it comes to carrying one in a school, I’m terrified, because my students battle enough “trauma” outside of school, and some even come to school to “escape” the gun, drug violence. I know this isn’t just in Montana. I have so many factors that run through my mind, and I have “fought” on posts about these factors that people aren’t considering. My main one I throw out there, is what if it was YOUR child on the end of the gun……

    Reading this post from you, gives me hope that there are still parents out there like you. Parents who love us, like we love your kids. Parents who respect our side of the story, and our thoughts for their children. I will always protect my students, and I don’t feel as if, carrying a gun is protecting them. There are other measures to be taken. Thank you for posting this ❤

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment. You are so appreciated. And yes, as a parent, if my child’s teachers were allowed to carry, I would not be letting her attend school. There’s too many variables. It’s frightening to me. Thank you for dedicating your career to our youth!

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  24. Vanessa,
    Thank you for writing this. I am an elementary school teacher and it is so nice when a post like this is written. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  25. I’m an elementary counselor and a concealed carry permit holder. I was attacked at my door one night getting home from teaching. I know what it’s like to have my sense of security stripped from me. I know what it’s like to walk into to a store and everyone I see, I wonder, “was it you?”. I will gladly take the extra training necessary to protect my kids from monsters! There are monsters that don’t care about the laws! Law enforcement can’t get there fast enough l. I’d they do get there, are they going to stop the monster? I will! I’ll protect and save lives! Our President is finally doing the one thing that will reduce these violent events. Our schools are open season for these deranged monsters. If they thought there would be some resistance, they’d think twice! Our President isn’t forcing anyone to carry. Stop pushing that narrative. He said those who wanted to and could handle the responsibility. I will gladly step up and protect all 462 children in my elementary school along with 52 teachers and staff. Yes, sign me up. No one will be forced. There are enough of us who will gladly stop the evil and save lives. I’ve always said, “ I won’t have to wonder who attacked me. They will have a toe tag and I’ll know he won’t be attacking anyone ever again!

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    1. I’m not pushing any narrative at all but thanks for reading my post. I posted this to thank teachers, period. Please don’t come here to argue or to tell me what my message is. All of the comments here have been kind and held awesome dialogue. Thank you for dedicating your life to teaching. You’re appreciated.

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  26. Just a thought about other weapons in the hands of evil people. Knives and hammers -can- be used to quickly maim and kill many people, yes, in 4 minutes, and are completely silent. And do not run out of ammunition. And Do not need to be reloaded. They will first take out the teacher, then the unprotected kids. I wish it weren’t true, but it is.

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  27. Thank you! This week has been difficult for me, especially when I think of my 22 second graders and I having to go through something as horrific as last week’s tragedy, and the pressures that we already face being compounded by the ignorant thinking that we are the last line of defense. I hope I am never in the situation to find out exactly what I would do. Your words, even though we’ve never met, brought peace to my soul. There’s never enough time to do all the things I want to do in my class, and I know there are things that the state mandates that won’t get done because of all the hats we have to wear, but your post helps me feel like it’s worth it, like I can bear the insulting paychecks, bad insurance, money I spend from my own pocket. If parents realized how much the little things from them mean to us; the smile, a kind word, a soda, it goes a long way with me and the teachers I know, so again, thank you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

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  28. This article is a “thank you” with politically motivated message wrapped up in that thank you. You’re correct, the teachers you’re thanking haven’t been asked or, at least in many cases, are currently NOT allowed to carry a weapon to protect themselves even if they wanted to and are properly trained to do so. I don’t advocate that ALL teachers carry a weapon. I certainly don’t advocate that any teacher who doesn’t want to carry weapon would be made to do so. However, allowing someone who goes thru necessary training to be able to protect themselves and students could be a PART of the SOLUTION. There are many other things that should be PART of the SOLUTION too. I personally don’t think any stone should be left unturned in providing for the safety of kids in schools. The “thank you” was awesome and well deserved, up to the point where the political stance on guns was thrown in.

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    1. Thanks for reading and so sorry you feel that way about a political message. If you reread it, what I said was no one was asking their opinions on the matter, they were simply offering up their services. Nothing political about that. I had no clue how teachers felt about being armed until I wrote this. Now I know that about 85% of teachers that commented here do NOT want to be armed. But thanks for your comment!

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  29. Thank you. I love my kids, the 4 at home and my kids at school. I don’t want to carry a gun, I hate them. As an educator I have had to stop reading and watching TV for awhile. I can’t think what if. I know what I would do, and I can’t stay in that mindset. God is good all the time even when we don’t understand.

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  30. Vanessa, thank you for the thoughtful and amicable response, I appreciate it. I’m a registered Republican but I certainly don’t agree with the “conservative” agenda on many social issues. Gun control is one of those. I believe people should have the right to own guns, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why certain weapons are necessary. Anyway, back to the subject and your response. I’m curious since you stated that about 85% of teachers who have commented do NOT want to be armed, what’s your thought on the other 15% that would possibly choose to go through necessary training? For instance, the coach who lost his life shielding kids from bullets in the recent Florida shootings was a licensed and experienced gun owner. All it takes is a few willing people to create a strong deterrent. I still believe in many other possible solutions too. Again, the “thank you” to the teachers is well deserved. I date a woman who has been a teacher for 24 years and although she isn’t personally in favor of carrying a weapon herself, she doesn’t mind the idea of others doing so IF they’re trained and pass all requirements. Thanks again. Mark

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    1. Goodness, it’s such a tough thing for me, with teachers being armed. I have always been anti-gun for myself (I do not and would never own them) but obviously pro 2A for everyone else. I don’t think military weapons of any kind should be accessible to the average citizen. But back to your question- since statistics have shown that a good guy with a gun has historically not stopped a bad guy with a gun, I would not be comfortable with teachers being armed. As a parent, there are far too many variables. I would not allow my child in a classroom where a teacher is armed. Some schools don’t even allow Kuerig coffee machines in the schools for consideration of kids getting burned, so a gun safely stored in a classroom or on a person? No, not my comfort at all. Now, I’ll say, I did watch a CNN piece on a school in rural Texas where they have a certain number of armed teachers in a school because they don’t have local police and it would take far too long for county cops to get there. It swayed me a bit on that situation BUT what bothered me was that those armed only went to training ONCE A YEAR. That is nowhere NEAR enough training. There’s so much chaos in mass shootings and too many variables for me. I definitely respect their opinions, though. Just not for me.
      Thanks for the dialogue. I love hearing others opinions and thoughts!

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  31. Thank you for your letter. I am retired after 33 years of doing what I love to do, teach! I noticed that no one writes about how daily life in the classroom will be with everyone knowing that the teacher has a gun. I can imagine different scenarios. Say a parent is really angry about a child’s grade, for example. They arm themselves because they want to confront the teacher who they know is carrying. And I can see the situation go quickly downhill from there. Politicians who want to arm teachers don’t have a clue about what teaching involves. How about giving schools counselors and social workers and nurses to help teachers help teach students and families how to learn to deal with anger issues? How about reinstating the funding for mental health program? You know the funding they just cut to pay for the tax breaks. There is so much that can be done BEFORE arming teachers. Thanks for letting me rant. Peace.

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    1. Hi Beverly! Thank you for reading and thank you for your comments! I 100% agree with you. There are so many more things we need in school besides guns. I’m with you. Thank you for dedicating your life to our youth!

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  32. I have a child in elementary school and I worry that someone will enter the school my child attends and start shooting. Today in a city about 20 miles north of us a TEACHER (yes you heard me correctly) a TEACHER came into the school and started shooting his gun in class through the window in his class. No students were hurt (Praise God) and students were transported to a convention center where parents could pick their children up. After the school was on CODE RED, that teacher (this was a High School) barricaded himself in his classroom until police could figure out a way to get him out. They finally got to him and he was apprehended and took into custody so I’m not real sure that allowing the teachers (Not saying all teachers will do this) to be armed and ready is the answer. That is a policeman’s job to protect our children and staff at our schools. Get more metal detectors, guard dogs, more resource officers on our campuses, something but having our teachers trained to shoot and allowing them to be licensed to carry is certainly not the answer! That would make me even more scared. Who’s to say that a student wouldn’t get up and knock a teacher out and grab their gun off of them or out of their desk or whatever and start shooting, it’s just not a good plan to have! I just don’t agree with what the government is wanting our teachers to do. They have enough to do without having to act like a police officer, it’s just not fair to them in my opinion!!

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  33. Thank you, for such loving and thoughtful words. I’ve been a high school English teacher for 17 years. I spend my summers taking students abroad. I spend my weekends doing SAT Prep and working on college and scholarship essays. I write letters of recommendation weekly during my free time. I have had one foster student and adopted another’s baby. I have given my life to this profession, and every year it gets a little sadder, harder, tougher, and less supported by our government. Your words are enough to help me through the rough days.

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  34. Thank you for thinking of teachers. I am in Canada so carrying a gun is not up for debate but I was with my students in a courthouse for a tournament when someone can barging through shooting with no aim! I never knew what I would do until that moment. Once it happened all I could think about was my students and if all of them are safe! I crawled on the floor looking for all them and bringing them to me! Unless someone is a teacher you truly don’t understand how much we care about our students! Thank you for taking the time to write this blog!

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  35. Vanessa, It was very encouraging to read your thoughtful, grateful words. I’m glad it’s recognized that teachers wear so many hats. . .Some I’d rather not wear, and wish parents would keep on their heads. But anyway, sometimes it feels like parents don’t understand, but you do. Yes, please, Lord, let this just be a time that passes away into history as scary and let it not occur again. Parents must raise their kids to love and respect others. The changes needed have to come from hearts changed; our societal issues are complex and require people choosing to do what’s right, and holding each other to high standards of conduct.

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  36. Every single shooting at a school ends with someone shooting back and ending it. Yet, the concept of gun free zones is ignored. People say, “if it saves one life, but then balk on trusting people or hiring armed guards.”

    And now, from the day school starts at age 5 to 18, boys are treated differently and forced to behavior like docile children (and girls) boys are punished and sent to alt-schools for a brief fist fight, and teachers call the police for every minor event by a boy.

    The schools are as much to blame for breaking boys and not allowing them to develop differently than girls.
    I have two kids, boy and girl, and they are wired sooo differently.

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    1. Ah. I now understand why you pointed out that I didn’t comment on some. Thanks for reading. I’m not debating anyone in these comment sections. It’s not worth my time. I don’t know that I really understand the point you’re trying to make here but thanks for reading!

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      1. Actually that isn’t true. I’ve commented on almost every single comment. I might have missed a few but none were intentional. Scroll through. But thanks for your helpful comment! This piece wasn’t about agreeing or disagreeing. It was about thanking teachers for all they do.

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  37. I would say that you start off thanking them, but then you go on about things that are SAID that people suggest or want to do, but no one is ever forcing a teacher to be armed.

    in the USA, we have a social media problem, a health issue and schools that are a soft target for those individuals.
    The current feels is, we need more gun laws, which well, is true. but not the ones you believe would make a difference. We definitely need to fix some of the processes that would catch, prevent and better control who can own firearms, but as long as schools are a big defenseless box, it won’t stop.

    We can’t even trust our government to protect us anymore, as they don’t feel they have to, nor are they required.

    and the thought that teachers are so sort of 90 year old nun with shaking hands has to end. I know many people, of both genders that are capable (and do) conceal carry for the off chance for self protection. Including teachers.

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    1. I will add- what I was referring to was all of the memes going around with guns in teachers hand and things suggesting that teachers are essentially to blame and should carry the responsibility without even asking how they feel. To be clear, that’s ALL I said. Please reread if there’s question about that.

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  38. Thank you very much, there are so many negative people who focus on their own wallets and how helping other will hurt themselves . As a teacher it is so refreshing to see the appreciation and thoughtfulness of so many wonderful people 🙂

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