Blake Farmer over at WPLN is reporting that the TEA is fine with arming teachers, if it comes to that:
The largest teachers union in the state is quietly on board with allowing educators to carry a weapon to class, at least as a last resort. The Tennessee Education Association is supporting a bill under consideration by the state legislature.
I could get behind this if every school was required to run two tests every year. The first test is this:
The teachers who might carry a gun are required to place something interesting that a child wouldn't normally see in a school building in a spot they might secure the gun. All the children in the school would then be told that there is something interesting hidden in the building. They would not be told what it was, but a substantial reward would be offered for it. Then the length of time it took a child to find and retrieve that interesting thing while also just going about the business of being in school would have to be posted publicly. That way parents and administration would have a good idea of how long it might take an enterprising child to find their best, most secure hiding spots and remove a gun from it.
The second is this:
On a training day, when there are no children in the school, teachers are put in small groups in different classrooms throughout the building. The teachers who would carry guns in school each have placed a paintball gun in the secure location they would store their actual gun. The teachers all have one color paint. A police officer armed with a paintball gun with another color paint enters the front of the school. The police officer's goal is to shoot as many teachers as possible before being hit himself. The armed teachers' goal is to get to their guns and shoot the officer without shooting any other teachers and before being shot themselves. The unarmed teachers goal would be to not be shot at all.
The results of this yearly test would also be publicly posted. Were armed teachers able to retrieve their guns before being shot? How many casualties were there before the police officer was hit, if the officer ever was hit? How many people were hit by the officer? How many by the armed teachers?
Right now, we're talking about arming teachers like it's some magical solution, as if its value is just self-evident — that of course it's a great idea and of course the benefits outweigh the risks. I think that if we're going to take this kind of step, we should get actual numbers. When you go into a restaurant, they have to display the number that indicates how clean and healthy that place is so that you can make an informed decision on whether to eat there. Why shouldn't schools then have to post the numbers that would tell you whether an armed teacher in that school is more of a help or a danger?