As a teacher, I cannot legally give a student an aspirin tablet.

My high school has five counselors for over 2400 students. There is one part-time social worker. There is one school psychologist assigned to multiple schools at one time. A school nurse is on campus only one day a week.

As a country we require people to have a license to drive a car, we regulate alcohol, and we determine who can operate businesses at certain places. We cannot even put an addition on a house that we outright own unless it passes several stages of permits.

But at 18-years of age, one becomes old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes and an AR-15. That’s three years before one can buy a beer legally.

Lawmakers set these guidelines. Interesting that one (possibly more) thought at one time I should carry a gun to protect students from shooters. With the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, TX, I am sure that calls for arming teachers will again be heard in the NCGA as the new session begins in Raleigh.

I am a teacher of 25 years in public schools. And I want to tell any lawmaker that I will never carry a weapon on my person as a teacher in any school despite what he/she suggests in wake of this most recent school shooting.

Remember this report by the Associated Press on Feb. 16, 2018?

A North Carolina lawmaker says allowing teachers to bring guns to school would save lives in situations such as the deadly school shooting in Florida.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Republican State Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County told colleagues Thursday that he met with a police officer who wants to talk to lawmakers about training school personnel.

And this was not all that Pittman had to say on that matter in 2018. From a News & Observer article, it was reported that Pittman made some other interesting assertions.

In a Facebook comment on another user’s post, Pittman speculated the Florida shooter was part of a conspiracy to “push for gun control so they can more easily take over the country.”


Let it not be lost that Pittman is an ordained Presbyterian minister.

I don’t ever remember part of my training as a teacher whether in the classroom or in the field involving carrying a weapon to protect school children. Something in me clings to the idea that I am trying to arm my students with the ability to think for themselves and become productive citizens based on their choices in pursuing life, liberty, and happiness.

And here in 2019, he has introduced more legislation to allow the schools to arm teachers.

Larry Pittman wanted to me to carry a weapon, because I am a public school teacher.

I have to fork over my own money to buy supplies.

We have a lower per-pupil expenditure in this state than we did years ago when adjusted for inflation.

We are fighting false allegations of CRT being taught in public schools.

We are fighting allegations of indoctrination.

We have school buildings that are literally falling apart.

And lawmakers who want to privatize public schools in North Carolina in such an explicit manner that we are seeing dramatic drops in teacher candidates to teach our students. Yet some of those very lawmakers want to “arm” me when he won’t even fully fund the very place I would be called upon to protect.

Not one student who has survived a school shooting has called for arming teachers in my memory. In fact in a post on Facebook a couple of the teachers who were very near the lines of fire talked about what teachers could always do in such horrific circumstances. They never mentioned being armed. They talked about being prepared. They talked about drills, locking doors, staying away from windows.

And those students from places like Parkland in Florida who survived that horrific shooting in 2019 are still  pleading for gun control. Loudly. This teacher is taking their word for it, not Larry Pittman’s.

If lawmakers wanted to “arm” teachers, then they would push for fully funding our schools with every resource possible.


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Clarence Choe