A hashtag movement has been launched by teachers who don’t agree with President Trump that arming them could help end mass shootings at schools.
Brittany Wheaton and Olivia Bertels met on Instagram, according to BuzzFeed, and both regularly share inspirational messages on the platform about education. The two decided it was time to use their substantial followings to reject the idea of guns in classrooms through the hashtag #ArmMeWith and left it open for other teachers to fill in the blank with anything but guns.
Wheaton said teachers should be the ones to decide what’s best in their classrooms and that’s what motivated the social media protest:
"If you're an educator, you know that [more guns] is not a solution to stopping the violence that's happening in our schools. Knowing that, I decided to start the #armmewith movement, where ACTUAL teachers give their solutions to what's happening.”
The teachers using the hashtag say books, supplies, and other necessary classroom materials top their lists, not bullets. Some said arm them with better pay. These are all great ideas but will do nothing to stop a school shooting. The other common response is asking for more resources to treat the mental health of students and support for their social and emotional well-being. There’s no evidence to suggest that would stop a shooting either. The only sure bet to stop a gunman is someone with a gun, but these educators aren’t interested in that.
A teacher in Northern Virginia told BuzzFeed, "Neither I, nor any teacher, are equipped to carry a gun in schools. It is not safe for our students, it is not safe for our colleagues, it is not safe for first responders in a time of crisis.”
A first grade teacher told the outlet, “Like most people after Sandy Hook, I looked at politicians’ stance on stricter gun laws, and made sure I voted for the ones who wanted change, but it stopped there.”
“The idea of arming a teacher is absurd,” a middle school teacher said. “This solution is a band aid over the real problem."
Bertels teaches English at a middle school in Kansas and has decided her weapon of choice to defend students in her classroom is a hashtag:
"We hope that the multitude of posts calling for schools to be armed with more supplies, better mental health services, smaller class sizes, freedom from standardized testing, and other more realistic — and less dangerous — strategies for school safety will help those who oppose our efforts to understand that more guns are not the answer to an existing gun problem.”
Okay, if you say so. Surely the frightened kids at the high school in Florida were wishing their teachers had access to a hashtag to clobber the shooter and end the massacre.