Teaching Qualifications: A Teaching Certificate and a Carry Permit
HARROLD, Tex. — [. . . ] The school board in this impoverished rural hamlet in North Texas has drawn national attention with its decision to let some teachers carry concealed weapons, a track no other school in the country has followed. The idea is to ward off a massacre along the lines of what happened at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. . . . David Thweatt, the schools superintendent and driving force behind the policy . . . maintains that having teachers carry guns is a rational response to a real threat."I saw this story in The New York Times this morning and was dumbfounded. Here are the obvious questions. What is the probability of some attack at this school relative to the probability of an accident? What faith do we have in the French teacher's judgment and training? What the hell is Texas Governor Rick Perry thinking when he endorsed this idiocy? What the hell is The Times doing relying on Republican talking points by describing those who find this policy nuts
as "wringing their hands." I am just speaking out and saying this policy is idiotic.
So, what do we have here. We have a "not exactly paranoid" fellow implementing a paranoid policy. Premises? (i) Standard government agencies (read: the county sheriff) cannot protect kids at school. (ii) Despite the fact that there is no prior experience with school violence we are going to plan for every contingency. (What about an asteroid crashing down onto the school in the middle of social studies?). (iii) And contentious policies like this ought to be decided without public comment or participation (the republicans in Monroe County New York pull this sort of thing all the time).