Armed teachers. I love the concept, thinking back on all those macho coaches swaggering down the hallways. Remember Joe Clark carrying his baseball bat around the school?
Such images feed into the John Wayne mentality of America: brute force and punishment by brute force solve all problems, including getting children to learn. So if we want to protect our schools from violence we use violence, whether it is a baseball bat on a wanna be gangster in the student body or a crazed person armed with an Uzi.
First step, keep them out. Razor wire and check points and metal detectors.
Second step: monitor the exterior and the interior of the school. That means lots of surveillance cameras and those have to be monitored which means a control room and a human monitor. Expensive? Yes, but there’s an easy solution: cut teacher pay.
Moving along to those teachers, we can easily provide them with guns to protect the kids and themselves by having gun manufacturers, in conjunction with the NRA offering training, provide them in exchange for advertising in yearbooks, at games, in the hallways, and so forth, especially in high schools where students can own guns themselves. Once the manufacturers see the practice of arming teachers entrenched, they can withdrawal their offer and guns will be just one more item in the school budget.
A more sophisticated level of security ties into step number one, the mental health angle: part of every employee’s initial interview would be an MMPI or other inventory of character and personality to determine their potential for “going postal.” After all, with lowered salaries and the increased stress of walking around armed, the chances of mental breakdowns also increase. Mental testing will screen some of those out before they turn their district-provided guns on themselves or others. For some teachers, the temptation to blow away that smart-mouthed kid on the last day of school will be too much. We’d like to screen them out, but if not…….. well, it couldn’t be much different from the way it is now, right? I would suggest school bus drivers are on the front line for such behavior breaking out.
The final component is, of course, the students themselves. They serve a positive link in the school’s security. By instituting a snitch system, rewarding students for reporting aggressive remarks from other students, we can haul kids before a board of psychologists. If their parents protest, depending on the parents’ status in the district (big donors, boosters, alumni??), they will be allowed to take their kid home for a good talking to or, if they do not have much of a profile, their kid will be labeled on a scale of one to ten from mild pain-in-the-ass to blazingly dangerous. Five to Ten will be summarily expelled with #10 being sent directly to Juvie while Two to Five will be put on a watch list and required to wear a red bracelet. The first day of school in the teachers’ lounge will be dominated by talk of how many “reds” you’ve got with talk of OMG, my sixth hour is a sea of red. (It used to be “nothing but jocks”).
Once this is all set up, we should be in for a year of fun learning and academic progress… in safety.
Being the liberal I am, I overlooked something obvious: why think in terms of high school students responding to the advertising of gun manufacturers? With proper training, elementary students, too, are a nice market. Too small to be a niche, more like a huge crack.