She Doesn't Want to Die at Work: Why One Teacher Sneaks a Gun to School Every Day

Gun in bagLike moms all over the country, I was stunned and horrified by the shooting in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My son was in kindergarten, and I couldn't help but think about something like that happening at his school. Among all of my fears, it never occurred to me to wonder if his teacher might be the one carrying a gun in the classroom. That is, until I spoke with a teacher who has a concealed carry permit -- and a gun in her desk drawer at school.


This teacher, who asked not to be identified, shared with us why she made the risky choice to carry a loaded weapon into a classroom full of children she is entrusted with teaching. 

Here is her story, as told to me (Wendy Robinson), for CafeMom:

When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I used to play "classroom" with my stuffed animals, and so it was a no-brainer that I chose to go to college for education. I've been a teacher in my small school district for 12 years now and I still like being in the classroom, even though it is easy to get burnt out. Like every summer, I'm glad for some time off.

I also grew up in a culture where everyone, including my family, had guns. My dad and brother are big hunters, and I even got my own little shotgun when I was about 5 or 6. I live in a state with good concealed carry laws, so I’ve had my concealed carry permit for a few years now. My husband really encouraged me to get it and even gave me a small gun that he calls my "purse pistol."

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

My husband and I were both shocked and horrified when Sandy Hook happened. As a teacher, I felt it was impossible not to imagine it happening in my classroom. I know I would have died trying to protect my students. A few days after it happened, my husband came to me and told me that he either wanted me to start carrying my gun to school or to think about quitting teaching. He was genuinely scared for my safety and we both agreed that Sandy Hook could have been prevented, or at least had fewer deaths, if someone with a gun could have stopped him.

I didn’t like the idea of bringing my gun at first -- partially because it is against school regulations, and I know I'd get fired it I got caught. I worry about losing my teaching license. But I didn't want to quit teaching and I didn't want my husband worrying about my safety every day.

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So, I started carrying to school. Every day when I get to my classroom, I lock my purse in my desk and wear the key around my neck so I don’t worry about a child finding the gun, although I can see why people would have that fear. I feel like having my gun in the class is a little security blanket for me and my students.

Of course none of the parents know I have it, although some do know that I have a concealed carry permit since we are a small community and most people know who hunts and who is into guns. I think some parents would be mad if they found out -- but I also think some would feel more relaxed about their kids' safety if they knew.

At this point, I see no reason why I wouldn’t carry in the classroom again next year. Like they say, it just takes one good guy with a gun to stop a tragedy, so I'm okay with being one good teacher with a gun. 


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