'I Carry My Gun to School' & 10 Other Teachers on Coping With the Threat of Gun Violence

'I Carry My Gun to School' & 10 Other Teachers on Coping With the Threat of Gun Violence

gunOn October 28, 2002, I went to my job as an admissions counselor at a large university. My mind was filled with thoughts of student applications and upcoming work travel. I didn't know that by the end of the day, my campus would be on the national news following the shooting death of three faculty members by a former student.

As I watched my campus struggle with the shock of violence and the fear that followed, I could never have imagined that stories of gun violence against students and teachers, including at elementary schools, would become as terribly common as they have.

Given that teachers are now responsible for teaching lockdown drills along with multiplication tables, I can't help but wonder if our teachers are teaching scared these days.

We spoke to 11 teachers and found out the truth regarding how they feel about the threat of gun violence in the classroom. Click on for their candid thoughts on feeling safe at school.

 

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  • The Threat Is Real

    1

    Image via iStock.com/Craig McCausland

    "I do worry about guns. I feel like after Sandy Hook, nothing happened. Like, we as a country just decided that having first graders get murdered is something we are willing to live with so any a**hole with a little money can get a gun. We care more about guns than we do about kids and FOR SURE more than we care about teachers." -- Alexa S., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Ease Their Fears

    2

    Image via iStock.com/dolgachov

    "I teach second graders and as much as I worry about my own safety in the school (and I do think about that sometimes), I'm more sad about the fact that my students worry about 'bad guys' coming into the school to hurt them. Part of my job now is to comfort 7-year-olds when they tell me they are worried about getting shot. How messed up is that?" -- Sara S., Phoenix, Arizona

  • Am I Really Safe?

    3

    Image via iStock.com/Steve Froebe

    "My school is trying to make it seem like they are taking steps to keep up safety, but so far all that has meant is putting up some signs. I don't worry about it every day, but I do feel aware that what happened at Newtown could happen here, too." -- Denise G., Adel, Iowa

  • Not Just Guns

    4

    Image via iStock.com/ TimMcClean

    "We had a third grader bring a knife to school this spring. So it isn't just guns teachers have to worry about. Good thing we get paid the big bucks. Oh wait, we don't." -- Helen J., Sierra Vista, Arizona

    More from CafeMom: School Shootings: Moms Share What It's Like to Live Through a Lockdown

  • Other Concerns

    5

    Image via iStock.com/mrohana

    "I'm not really worried about gun violence. I work in a K-6 school. I am more wary of a physically larger student sometimes than weapons. I have some minor concerns about parents but our school security is very good." -- Beth S., Avon, North Carolina

  • Gun for Teacher

    6

    Image via iStock.com/Tracy Fox

    "It is against the rules but I have a concealed carry permit, and I do carry my gun to the middle school where I work. I could get fired if I get caught but I also feel like I could save my students if I had to. My husband got me the gun for an end-of-the-year gift last year." -- Name Withheld

  • Little Lives

    7

    Image via iStock.com/mediaphotos

    "I teach first grade, so Sandy Hook hit me really, really hard. I look at my class and I can't imagine how someone could hurt little ones. It also made me ask myself hard questions -- like, would I die to save my students? It is gut-wrenching stuff." -- Amy A., Gowen, Michigan

  • Danger at Home

    8

    Image via iStock.com/Amanda Rohde

    "I don't worry about myself too much but I do worry about my students at home. I live in gun country and I'd guess most of the kids in my school live in homes with guns. It is just a part of culture and I don't think a lot of families lock up their guns. I worry about the accidental shootings more." -- Name Withheld

  • Permission to Carry

    9

    Image via iStock.com/Rdlamkin

    "I teach at a college campus in Texas, where it is legal for students to carry concealed guns. I'm actively looking for work in another state, partially because of the gun laws. I hate teaching and knowing that there are armed people in my lecture hall. It is a bad situation, just waiting to happen." -- Kate W., El Paso, Texas

    More from CafeMom: 13 Female Celebrities Who Own Guns (PHOTOS)

  • Lockdown

    10

    Image via iStock.com/Joshua Hodge Photography

    "I HATE that I have to teach my kids about lockdown drills. It makes me sick to my stomach, every time." -- Mary M., Edina, Minnesota

  • I Quit

    11

    Image via iStock.com/ Mlenny

    "I'm retiring early and part of the reason is because I don't feel safe anymore. I've been a great teacher for over 20 years but it just doesn't feel worth it anymore. I'm not willing to die because people feel like guns are a God-given right." -- Karen G., Tucson, Arizona

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