A Parkland teacher told CNN Friday that armed educators would shoot black students “at a higher rate” than white students.
The concern comes amid the ‘should we arm teachers’ debate that was reignited earlier this month when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Florida.
“If what you’re telling me is that we have trained professionals who weren’t able to follow protocol, then I can’t imagine my teachers – overworked, underpaid, exhausted – carrying a sidearm, then being able to perform that protocol,” said Stoneman HS teacher Diane Wolk-Rogers.
Her concern about trained professionals follows reports that a handful of local police failed to enter the building during the shooting – including an armed guard who worked at the school.
â€¨“What we know is that students of color get suspended and get expelled at a higher rate than white kids. So, now, what are we going to say, Mr. Trump? We’re going to say that now students of color are going to be shot at by teachers at a higher rate? It’s absolutely ludicrous. It horrifies me.”
Wolk-Rogers’s comments mirror concerns from liberals and “Never Trumpers” who complain that America is too racist to arm educators.
White teachers’ inherent racial prejudices will cause them to shoot black kids, argues Above the Law editor Elie Mystal.
“The only other group of public employees that is armed at the behest of the state shoots unarmed people of color on the reg,” writes Mystal. “The cops actually receive extensive training on how to use their firearms…and yet they still murder innocent civilians all the time.”
“Our legal system is INCAPABLE of holding public employees to account for murdering minorities. Black and brown students should not have to die because disgruntled white boys are shooting up their schools.” Mystal’s article has been widely shared among Democrats.
Last week on Twitter, Never Trumper David Frum claimed that arming teachers would “constitute a huge public-sector affirmative action program for white men” based on data suggesting gun owners are 2/3 male and are 50% more likely to be white than black.
Author’s Note: I am not in favor of arming teachers, but the arguments above are completely ridiculous.
Trump made the suggestion Monday that we arm teachers who voluntarily attend training classes. In all likelihood, this will never happen.
In my opinion, the widespread presence of guns in schools (apart from armed guards) would make it that much easier for a “disgruntled” student to cause damage. And it would endanger teachers in cases where a student attempts to steal and use the gun.
But even if we did arm teachers, they would likely be trained to only draw their weapons in response to an active gunman – at which point his or her skin color would make no difference.
Wolk-Rogers’s argument has nothing to do with the actual problem here, which is how to make schools safer and reduce the number of shootings. Racism has nothing to do with it.