Echoes of warnings: so it begins

Wasn’t it just yesterday kids walked out all over the country to protest gun violence and demand reasonable gun control actions… which do not involve putting more guns in schools and arming teachers? Yeah, I am sure it was. My own son wrote a brief piece regarding exactly that and his concerns with arming teachers with loaded weapons because he simply doesn’t blindly trust every teacher out there.

Well, now I stumbled across this Washington Post article from yesterday evening. It appears that Tuesday, March 13, just one day before students walked out, a teacher, Dennis Alexander, at Seaside High School in Monterey California “accidentally” discharged a weapon in a classroom, injuring a seventeen year old student. Despite the fact the teacher is a reserve police officer and has had firearm training,  he saw fit to exhibit extremely poor judgment by first bringing an unauthorized firearm to class, second by not visually inspecting the firearm to ensure it was not loaded, then by discharging the firearm intentionally in the ceiling when he said he thought it was unloaded. Debris fell on the student and a bullet fragment lodged in his neck. The teacher further demonstrated poor judgment by not dismissing the injured student to be seen by medical staff, dismissing the class or even reporting the incident. The parents had to call the police to initiate an investigation and, after school, take their son to the emergency room for treatment where the bullet fragment was removed from his neck. The school did not notify the parents.

So, not only did this teacher exhibit poor judgment, but the entire school did as well. They did not notify the police nor the parents of the children affected. Reports indicate two additional students had minor injuries from falling debris.

In an echo of my warning from yesterday, trusting a teacher to teach is one thing, trusting a teacher with a loaded gun in a classroom is completely different. Who knows what was in his head that he thought this was appropriate behavior? Using a loaded gun as a prop in a safety class shows no trace of responsibility. If he just had to use a real gun, why not make sure it was unloaded before he brought it to school? Why not use a perfectly and always safe toy gun?

This is Exhibit 1 in why arming teachers is a bad idea. This accident could have been far more tragic. Thankfully it wasn’t, but we need to learn from it quickly. This was in the hands of someone who was trained, more training than teachers would likely receive. Introducing more guns into classrooms is just stupid. It endangers our students because we cannot regulate stupidity. We cannot regulate poor decisions and irresponsibility to the scale of every classroom in the United States.  We cannot trust every school and school district to act responsibly.

So, can we please just return to reality and have a reasonable discussion about responsible gun control measures and stop placating to the NRA wet dreams of the Old West?

Stay safe.



We are One Woman, One World.

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Through the eyes of children

Today, in honor of students using their civil rights to promote change in our society, I have asked someone special to me to be a guest blogger, Woodrow White. He is a fourteen year old eighth grader with some thoughts on the prospects of arming teachers in the classrooms, from his perspective.


     Hello, my name is William Woodrow White, I am fourteen years of age and I am in Eighth Grade. I do not believe we should be arming teachers with weapons to counter school gun violence. This is because the students won’t know who this teacher is, how stable the teacher is, what is going on in their private life, and more. For example, if a teacher is unstable or having a pretty bad life, depressed, they could pull that very same gun on the students they are supposed to protect. Then there is the situation of a student quite literally taking the gun from the teacher. Of course, if teachers were to be given guns, then they would most likely have a safe with a lock, so the gun being taken from the teacher is unlikely. Still though, the possibility remains. I also believe AR-15’s, or any assault style rifles, should be banned, or at least have smaller magazines, and make bump stock modifications illegal. Gun violence is a problem in the United States and it must be dealt with.

For full disclosure, this is my son. I presented him with opportunity to make this contribution and I did not interfere with nor influence what he wanted to say. I did not edit his content. It is brief and to the point, but I found something sincerely disturbing and a point of view I had not really considered. What does arming teachers look like from the perspective of a student?

It is a funny thing that we just expect students to trust blindly. It is a painful realization that at fourteen my son is aware of the fallacies of blind trust for those in positions of power. He would feel unsafe in an atmosphere arming teachers like police officers. He sees the potential for that scenario to play out with tragic results.

I know the first impulse is to defend teachers, but his argument is not without merit. It does not take much sweeping through the news to find teachers who have abused their authority, endangered or even assaulted students. But aside from the few bad apples, it is two entirely different things: trusting a teacher to do his or her job and educate your child versus trusting a person with a loaded gun in your child’s classroom without a parent present. Those are two wholly different kinds of trust. My son’s paragraph highlights this from the perspective of the child.

Through the eyes of children we see the world anew.  Instead of degrading students for their activism, perhaps we should take a moment to look through their eyes and reflect upon what they see. It can be a profound experience.

Be safe.



We are One Woman, One World.


More ways to become active


photo credit: Madison365

Take a better look…

This won’t be a long blog. It’s premise is to pose a question to those who seem to believe arming our educators is the best policy to remedy the violence we are seeing in our nation. I ask you, for just one moment, to take yourself outside of being an American. Step away from your pride, your nationalism, your self-assured superiority. Cast all your notions of allegiance and patriotism aside. Not forever, just for a moment, and look at this problem as if through a window into someone else’s life. Don’t place any consideration into your beliefs of guns or rights or anything. Just take a look at the solution proposed:

Equipping teachers with firearms in classrooms all over our country.

Think about that and what that actually means.

I’m not talking about  in relation to the ridiculous responsibility that teachers already are swamped under without adding this; not even that you think it could help stop these horrific crimes. No, think about what that means in reflection of who we are as a nation and as a people. Consider what state of unequivocal lawlessness we must achieve that placing guns in classrooms to ensure safety seems, somehow, reasonable.

This, even just considering it, shows a civilization in sharp decline, where our laws and methods are being abandoned in favor of mob mentality and vigilante justice.

We cannot be a free nation, or even a first world nation if we cannot even manage sending our children to school without teachers being armed. We are devolving rapidly. That is what this really means. It shows not only a massive loss of faith in all our systems, but an abandonment to all we have worked to achieve and every progress we have made as a civilization. While I agree our systems are not perfect and they all need drastic improvement to ensure that the true visions of equality and justice are served, this ideology makes no progress towards such ends. We do not fix our law enforcement system by simply throwing it away. We change it and improve it.

But what I see is a huge portion of the GOP and their supporters and the NRA would rather intentionally turn our schools into the worst visions of the Wild West than accept the fact that we need some basic, common sense, gun control laws. Laws do work. It is why we make them. Does a law stop all crime? No. But it does help prevent making it easy for criminals and thereby reduces crime.

Is this how we want to live? Is this who we want to be? Do we want to be a nation so afraid and so lawless that we send children to school under armed guards? Think about that. Do we want a loaded gun in a classroom of angry kids? Or in the hands of an angry teacher?  Do we want guns that accessible for rash decisions made in anger or hostility? Do we want to project to the world that we are so unsafe we arm our teachers to protect, and against, our own children?

So, look through the window. See us without political, social or patriotic prejudices. At what state of degradation and collapse of a society does this occur? What are we turning ourselves into?

Just think about it.

We are One Woman, One World.

Stay safe.


Be heard.

Never again.